By: Elizabeth Nickerson
November 18, 2013
Wakulla County, FL- Wakulla County pilots can not start their engines at the Wakulla Airport. They do not have the fuel or a safe landing strip. So, they are just sitting in the hangars.
The Department of Transportation says If the county does not have a paved runway it will shut it down.
"I think if this closes down there will be some big financial repercussions because I invested my life savings into this place," said Richard Shepard, a retired pilot living in the airport community.
The county administrator David Edwards is handing over the maintenance cost to the pilots and hangar renters and the county commissioners are buying the idea.
"We need to meet the DOT minimum requirements or it will shut down as a public airport," said Walt Dickson, a pilot who has used the airport for over 25 years. "It is hard to get insurance on a plane that is based on grass field because you have no control when you are landing on grass and we need to fix that problem."
Pilots will need to pay a proposed $50 a year and the money will help pave a landing strip.
County Commissioners have not made a formal decision yet, but the majority is deciding to move forward with making minimal improvements to satisfy DOT safety requirements.