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SARA completes lighting project

The airport lighting project has been completed at South Alabama Regional Airport.

SARA Executive Director Jed Blackwell said that the project began in January but there was a delay due to heavy rains.

The project was a $580,000 airport improvement program grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Alabama Department of Transportation provided 5 percent toward it and the airport authority also contributed 5 percent.

The work was performed by TCA Electrical and completed on Feb. 14.

However, the Alabama Department of Transportation’s Aeronautics Bureau deemed the runway safety area not safe due to some rutting.

Blackwell said that the contractor was unable to get that portion completed due the need for the rain to stop.

Since the runway could not open up until the issue was completed, Blackwell said the airport hired Don Bullard to complete the work and paid for it out of pocket.

“We thought it was better than losing funds,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell said that the area is used by military helicopters for “touch and goes.”

Using Bullard’s services allowed the airport to re-open the runway quickly.