South Boston - Halifax County: William M Tuck Airport - W78

Airport Means Growth For Area

Group formed to promote Tuck

By Ronnie Vaughan
Special to the News & Record

What does the William M. Tuck Airport mean to you?

It creates jobs and income; saves lives; helps enforce the laws of the land, is a terminal destination for passengers, freight, etc. The airport can be considered one of Halifax county's principal resources because what the airport does best is serve people who don't fly.

An airport, regardless of its size, is a community's access point to our nation's major mode of transportation. An airport serves the same basic purpose as the river harbors of a century ago or the train depot of a generation ago. Increasingly, American's travel by air, and having an airport in a community is like finding an oil well in your neighborhood. General aviation airports in America provide a vital service to a nation that has become more and more dependent on air transportation. Of the 18,224 landing facilities in the United States, the air carriers serve 388 on a scheduled basis, concentrating more than 50 percent of their service in just 20 or so locations. Obviously, most of America's communities are dependent on their local airport for access to the nation's transportation system.

Air travel buys America the nonnegotiable item that we all need more of - time. And airports are the focal point for accessing air travel. Coupled with the tremendous social and economic benefits it provides, an airport is a valuable local resource and a vital gateway to the national transportation system.

Because of the myriad of activities, the individual use, and the random routes of personal air transportation, it is difficult to assess the total economic impact of general aviation. It is certainly safe to say that each time a aircraft flies somewhere, people aboard that aircraft are spending money in a community other than the one in which they live. People are purchasing fuel for airplanes, renting automobiles, staying in hotels, eating in restaurants, entertaining, etc. And this social and economic activity is beneficial to all people, whether or not they personally use the airplanes or airport.

Halifax County is fortunate enough to have had leaders with enough vision in the late 1940's to establish an airport to bring Halifax County into the age of aviation. As most farmer's can remember this was the time when airplanes sprayed their tobacco fields. The crop duster had a major impact on the development of aviation in Halifax County. There are not many older people that can't remember as a youngster watching pilots such as Frank Sadler, Al. Vaughan, James Compton, Lacy Green, Aylor Talbott, Jimmy Smiley to name a few, lead the attack on the tobacco's farmer's major enemy the flea bug.

Through the years our leaders have made great progress in development of our present day airport. But the time has now come to position Halifax County and the airport to move into the Twenty First century. With so many urgent issues that our leaders of today have had to deal with there is little time to do what is necessary to bring our airport into position for the Twenty First century. The William M. Tuck Airport Association was formed to work with the airport commission, county, and town leaders to improve our airport.

The purpose of this Association is to promote and preserve safe and efficient operations of the general aviation airport system to the benefit of the community and to advance public understanding and interest in the beneficial use and utilization of aviation through educational and charitable means.

To accomplish this goal of establishing an airport for the Twenty First century will take a team effort of all citizens, county and town leaders of Halifax County. If you would like to be an active member or a supporter of this goal, please contact one of the William M. Tuck Airport Association Board of Directors:

Ronnie D. Vaughan, President
Hm.# 753-1260 Wk.# 572-6991

A. Sam Tuck, Vice President
Hm.# 374-5911 Wk.# 374-2130

Mark Stevens, Secretary
Hm.# 575-5588 Wk.# 572-8901

Wayne Dudley, Treasurer
Hm.# 575-7872

Mike Denton
Hm.# 374-0766

W Tommy Epps III
Hm.# 572-4871 Wk.# 572-4721

W Tom West
Hm.# 252-2400 Wk.# 572-2080

L. T. McFarland
Hm.# 575-8227

or Linda Clark at the William M. Tuck Airport 572-9961 from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. Wednesday thru Sunday.

Miles and Ruth Clayton (airport managers) and daughter, Linda Clark, invite everyone to come out and visit the airport. The William M. Tuck Airport Association will appreciate any help and support to keep the airport moving toward the Twenty First century.