I'm always fascinated how "someone else's" local news can seem irrelevant until you're a part of it.Last week, I visited a Marine buddy and I spent a couple days in the small Tennessee town of Portland. My buddy is the seventh generation of his family to live there. When he was a kid, the town's population was about 6,000; now, a few decades later, it's doubled to about 12,000. There's even a street, which bears his surname, that used to be the driveway to his grandfather's farm.
|Main Street revitalization board meeting.|
While I was visiting, I had the opportunity to accompany him, as an observer, at a board meeting of a soon-to-be-formed non-profit to revitalize the downtown area. Most of the 90 minute meeting was run by a state rep who specialized in helping Tennessee towns implement Main Street revitalization plans focusing on design, history, and the economy.
|Portland Airport expansion plans on the drawing board.|
When I walked into the downtown revitalization planning meeting I immediately noticed the airport expansion plans, quite literally, on the drawing board. It struck me as a coincidence that I should see the very plans, at an unrelated meeting, which I had just read about on the front page of the local newspaper.
Portland's future airport plans include lengthening the runway by 200' and adding taxiway access to each end. Large corporate jets should have no problem landing on a 5,200' runway. Currently, pilots have to taxi on the runway to get to the end before beginning their takeoff run (a technique called back taxiing). I hope that a bigger airport means bigger business for Portland.