Watching Our Taxes Grow and Flow


Runway Extension Project

A Better Solution -  Improve Pryor Field Regional Airport, Decatur, AL

Congressional earmarks and airport improvement funds can be put to better use at Pryor Field
Regional Airport near Decatur, AL than for the runway expansion project at the Madison County Executive Airport in Meridianville, AL.  The runway extension project at Madison County Executive Airport includes, in addition to the runway work, about one mile of new road construction and removal of eight substantial homes.  Pryor Field has farmland on three sides and has no residential areas near the airport so airport improvement funds would be used for actual airport infrastructure work and not for relocating roads and removing homes. The runway length at Pryor Field is 6,100 feet (versus 5,000 feet at Madison County Executive Airport) and judging from aerial views could be lengthened considerably without affecting roads in the area.  There are areas available for additional aircraft hangars and parking areas.

Pryor Field is about three miles from Decatur that has industries like United Space Alliance, NUCOR, GE Appliances, 3M and Daiken. The 1,500,000 square foot United Space Alliance facility is being used to produce Delta and Atlas rockets.  Pryor Field is adjacent to Calhoun Community College and the Alabama Robotics Technology Park and is across US Highway 31 from a large (about 800,000 square feet) manufacturing facility with a railroad spur once occupied by Saginaw Steering Gear. Pryor Field now has farmland on three sides but development is moving toward Pryor Field from the Huntsville area. Funds being considered for MCEA should be used to acquire property and easements that will permit improvements to Pryor Field when needed. 

Driving times and distances from Pryor Field to Huntsville International Airport and its trade zone businesses are less than from Meridianville (17 minutes and 14.7 miles versus 28 minutes and 22.4 miles). Driving times and distances from Pryor Field to Research Park Drive/I565 interchange are comparable to those from Meridianville (20 minutes and 20 miles versus 23 minutes and 15.9 miles). Mileage and drive times were found on the Internet at google maps.  The Research Park Drive/I-565 interchange is at the entrances of Cummings Research Park with about 224 businesses and Redstone Arsenal with NASA and extensive U.S. Army facilities.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration Website, their continuing mission is to provide the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.  Their vision is to continue to improve the safety and efficiency of flight. They are to be responsive to their customers and are accountable to the taxpayer and the flying public.

Congressman Griffith represents taxpayers in north Alabama not just Madison County and should be concerned about getting the most benefits from our tax dollars.  It will benefit taxpayers and residents around the Madison County Executive Airport if Congressman Griffith would use his influence to get funding for the Madison County Executive Airport runway extension project cancelled or delayed.  This will allow the Federal Aviation Administration to fulfill their mission and be accountable to the taxpayers by determining if taxpayer dollars can be used most effectively at Pryor Field or at Madison County Executive Airport.