Drake takes Macon airport under its wing

Drake Enterprises is spreading its wings further into the community as it takes over management of the Macon County Airport. 

Under the new subsidiary Macon Air LLC, Drake assumed responsibility for airport operations as of Oct. 1 after its former management entity — Franklin Aviation, led by Neil Hoppe and Peggy Milton — decided to retire. Hoppe and Milton had managed the airport for 20 years under a contract with the county. 

Macon Airport Authority still eyeing expansion project

The Macon County Airport Authority may have hit a roadblock in the planning process for a project that will add another 1,000 feet to the runway. 

Another runway extension in the wings for Macon airport

With the last Macon County Airport runway extension project barely in the rearview, the North Carolina Department of Transportation has approved another $4.5 million airport project to make the runway even longer. 

The last expansion project in 2011 extended the runway from 4,400 feet to 5,000 feet for safety reasons — the same reason why local officials say the runway now needs to be expanded to 6,000 feet. 

Asheville Regional Airport improvements continue

Geography and population conspire to make much of Western North Carolina a terrible place for an airport; west of Asheville, commercial airstrips are practically nonexistent.

Model plane club allows members to take the pilot seat

fr aeromodelersThe Macon Aero Modelers Club members are not afraid to fly much of anything. Large, wooden aircraft churning through the sky, small, light planes twisting and turning at 10, 15, 20 Gs — if it’s got wings, it’s their forte. 

Macon County ponies up for airport upgrades, again

The Macon County Commission last week narrowly approved funding for upgrades and an expansion of the runway at the county airport.

Macon County airport runway expansion in the works once more

fr airportMacon County could once again find itself with a bigger airport runway — this time wider. 

Flying club encounters turbulence in shared plane venture

fr airplaneShortly after takeoff, the Smoky Mountain Flying Club is having to re-route its course. 

The flying club nearly lost an $11,000 non-refundable down payment on an airplane after a deal with investors went bad.

Flying club trying to takeoff again

The Smoky Mountain Flying Club is trying to get some wind under its wings again with a campaign to attract new members and buy a sporty plane, or two, for its pilots to use collectively.

Instead of the small planes traditionally flown by recreational pilots, the club is moving in the direction of the burgeoning class of light sport aircraft. These lightweight, maneuverable planes require less training and are cheaper to keep up than their larger counterparts.

Incoming: Jackson airport to land a share of increased casino traffic

fr jaxairportThe advent of live dealers and table games at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino is widely predicted to bring sweeping economic benefits to the region — benefits that are so far-reaching even the tiny landing strip known as the Jackson County Airport could land a piece of the action.

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