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Mon, Aug 13, 2012

No Airshow For Upper Cumberland Regional Airport In 2013

Board Committee Votes To Suspend The Event Following Management Change

The operations committee of the Upper Cumberland Regional Airport (KSRB) board of directors voted Thursday night to recommend the suspension of the airport's annual airshow following a recent management change. But cancellation of the event, until now held annually at the airport located between Cookeville and Sparta, TN, appears to be just the tip of the iceberg of the airport's issues.

The Cookeville (TN) Herald Citizen newspaper reports that the board is currently evaluating airport operations, a process which will take about 90 days. UCRA board chairman Wallace Austin said at the meeting that the board will be looking at airport revenue streams and salaries for airport employees.

The UCRA and Region Air, the FBO at the airport, became embroiled in a lease disagreement earlier this year, which resulted in the company terminating its lease with the board in June, according to a story appearing on myspartnews.com, and the airport has been without an FBO since. The board purchased many of the physical assets of the FBO, but since Region Air owned the flight training and other rental aircraft at the airport, flight students have been forced to look elsewhere to continue their training.

The board heard a presentation from regional FBO operator Crystal Air for picking up the slack in the aircraft rental, charter, and flight training areas, but they are not being considered as a full-service FBO at KSRB at this time. The board voted unanimously to allow Crystal Air to provide the services they outlined in their agreement, and pending resolution of insurance considerations should be able to begin operations next month.

But as far as an FBO, the board is taking a "wait-and-see" position. Austin said that he can foresee another FBO at KSRB, but that the decision will have to wait until at least after the 90 day evaluation period. He wouldn't rule out the possibility entirely, but "to say we're going to have it tomorrow ... no."

FMI: www.spartatn.com

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