By Melissa Delekta
Grand Ledge Gazette Reporter
Grand Ledge- After an accident involving a National Guard helicopter training exercise, repairs to the Abrams Municipal Airports Precision Approach Path Indicator have begun. The airport is located at 16815 Wright Rd.
Mayor Kalmin Smith said the National Guard will be covering the costs of the repairs, which are estimated at $23,775.
“Grand Ledge is a very patriotic town and the Army National Guard is a great neighbor,” Smith said. “Our residents are grateful for their service and pleased to share our municipal airport with them.”
Though a training accident was the cause of the damage to Abrams Municipal Airport there are no hard feelings between Grand Ledge and the National Guard.
“The Guard contributes to our local economy and many individuals stationed at that base contribute to the quality of life in our community as volunteers through our schools, churches and civic organizations,” Smith said.
Working with the National Guard has “been very smooth,” said City Administrator and Airport manager, Jon Bayless, who has had several meetings with guard members about the project.
The city awarded the bid for the repairs. to J. Ranck Electric, Inc. of Mount Pleasant, and they have already started the project. The work will not, however, interrupt the day- to- day operations of the Abrams Municipal Airport.
“The PAPI is supplemental to the airport, it is not essential,” said Dave Powers, Director of Operations of GrandAir Aviation which is located at Abrams Municipal Airport. “It is definitely a nice thing to have but the airport can function without it.”
Bayless specified that the project is underway, stating that the parts needed to complete the repairs have been ordered.
Jeremy Rowley, the general contractor from J. Ranck Electric said he expects the project to last five days, and he hopes the parts arrive in late March so they can begin work the first week of April.
“We do a lot of airport work and this project is pretty small job,” Rowley said. “For us, it is going to be fairly simple.”
Along with the repairs to the PAPI the city council also approved $44,000 in funds for runway maintenance and to cover the cost of engineering services.
For questions, concerns, or comments contact Melissa Delekta at firstname.lastname@example.org