Lakeland Linder Regional Airport got a windfall from the
federal government last month, earmarked to improve traffic safety.
According to a statement on the airport's
website, the FAA awarded Lakeland Linder $2.4 million to "alleviate
complex geometric intersections and improve the safety of taxiing
aircraft at the airport." Construction is to begin this summer and be
completed by the close of 2011.
now the taxiways leaving our hangers and terminal dump you into this
area where the runway intersects with the taxiways,'' explains Gene
Conrad, the airport director. "We're trying to take the confusion out of
the mix in the interest of safety."
grant, and the renovations they will pay for, couldn't come at a better
time. Conrad foresees big things for the airport in the near future.
"We envision ourselves as a regional facility. We currently host smaller
type aircraft but would like to attract scheduled public charters and a
commercial airline. By giving us this grant, even the FAA recognizes
that our airport is destined to be more than it is now.
"We sit between Disney World and Tampa," Conrad
continues. "And our location gives us the perfect opportunity for a
commercial airline or a fixed charter line. I've only been here two and a
half months, but in doing my due diligence on the area, I think the
airport is a diamond in the rough."
Conrad isn't looking to compete with the major airports in Tampa and
Orlando. "We want to stay true to our core by finding our niche. We
don't want to replace anyone. We just want to carve out our own niche
for the local community."
Writer: Missy Kavanaugh
Source: Gene Conrad, Lakeland Linder Regional Airport