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FAA keeps airport gear running

POSTED: May 4, 2013 12:31 a.m.

Who is responsible for the maintenance at Lee Gilmer Memorial Airport? A new guidance system was installed onto a wooden structure a number of years ago. This structure is visible from Queen City Parkway and has never been primed or painted to protect the wood from the elements. The wood now appears weathered, cracked and split.

The structure was installed in 1999, according to Terry Palmer, airport manager at Lee Gilmer, and is maintained by the Federal Aviation Administration.

“It is made out of treated lumber, so it’s not necessarily something that will have to be restained or anything,” Palmer said.

The structure supports a localizer antennae, which basically provides an electronic center line 5 miles south of the airport so that pilots can line up with the runway even during low visibility.

The antennae is monitored 24/7 by the FAA, so if there was some sort of equipment failure, the FAA would know before anyone else since it monitors it, Palmer said. An alert would be sent, which they would then relay to air traffic controllers.

The FAA is responsible for maintenance of that and other antennas and equipment. The city of Gainesville, which owns the airport, is responsible for maintenance of the runways, taxiways, grounds and buildings.


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