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Airport hangars are full

The hangars are full at Atmore Municipal Airport.

Airport Manager Freddie McCall Jr. said Monday that each of the 10 hangars are occupied with aircraft. Additionally, a maintenance hangar, which holds eight aircraft, is also full, he said.

“All of the hangars, which are available to rent, will accommodate twin engine aircraft,” McCall said. “We don’t have any of those at the moment, but each hangar will allow one occupancy.”

McCall said the airport is 100 percent full because of advertisement and a pilot shortage in airlines.

“This was forecasted 10 years ago, and it’s come to fruition,” he said. “The shortage came because the older generation of pilots were forced to retire due to age. Now, a new generation is coming in, and there’s a lot of interest in pilot training.”

McCall added that the need for training pilots coincides with many other airports being full, not just in Atmore.

McCall said they do provide flight training to the general public. Requirements for training are that pilots need to be in decent health and pass a Federal Aviation Administration medical exam.

McCall said he foresees the airport remaining full for the next 10-15 years as aircraft come and go.

With a full airport come new opportunities to expand, he said.

McCall said he is looking to build an additional hangar at the airport. He said the airport has to request the additional construction through the FAA.

“We have to request this with the FAA, and ask to be put on a list for new hangar construction,” he said.

McCall said he hopes the airport will receive the funds, which grants 95 percent of funds. The city would have to match 5 percent.