Thursday, November 19, 2020

Texarkana, Arkansas: Airport board revokes request to build aircraft hangar

TEXARKANA, Arkansas — Texarkana Flight Training School won't be building an aircraft hangar here anytime soon.

Following 19 months of negotiations with the school's president, Lonny Weitzel, the airport's Authority Board rescind plans to allow Weitzel to build his own hangar on airport property, during their Thursday monthly meeting.

Board members cited constant changes in Weitzel's building plans as the reason and voted in a seven to one decision to rescind plans for the construction.

"Everything you propose to do you keep changing," Board Chairman Ray Abernathy told Weitzel during the meeting.

One of the more recent changed decisions regarding the proposed hangar, included a request to re-designate it as a private hangar rather then a business hangar.

Board member Don Ruggles, who was the only board member to disagree with the other seven members, recommended that the board expunge its decision to deny Weitzel the chance to build his school hangar and start negotiations over again.

"I thought we all were in favor of having more hangars built on airport," Ruggles said. "I agree with Ray, that you have been dragging your feet for the last 19 months but I would still like to see you build your hangar," Ruggles told Weitzel.

Board member David Potter said the there's been too much negative discourse regarding a project that really shouldn't have taken more the four months to complete. Some of the time delays included slow progress in the school submitting a business plan, site plan and construction plan.

Weitzel cited the COVID- pandemic and its lingering effect, as at least one of the reasons for the time delay.

"The airlines business also experienced a drop and I couldn't change that," Weitzel said.

Nevertheless, Abernathy said the process in getting the project going has taken too long.

" We've been bounced around for 19 months and we really need something concrete for approval," he said.

Weitzel asked again why his request to build a hangar has been denied, but Potter then motion for the meeting to adjourned and that motion was the only thing in the discussion approved.

Following the meeting Ruggles suggested to Weitzel that he hire an attorney, and Weitzel replied that he intended to speak to the two cities' attorneys — since both Texarkana, Texas and Texarkana, Arkansas own the airport.

1 comment:

  1. Judging by a quick Google search, Lonny seems as much a gambler as he is a pilot. He probably needs some poker winnings to hire a lawyer, finance the hangar.


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