2020-06-24 wcat-wagoner airport sign

Improving the Hefner-Easley Airport was the main topic of discussion at the Special Airport Board Meeting. JOHN FERGUSON/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE

There are improvements coming to Wagoner’s Hefner-Easley Airport, but generally speaking, innovation has been grounded at the east side fly place.

The June 17 special Airport Board meeting addressed future goals 20 years ahead and suggested improvements. It was a way to see how to make the airport better.

There was no action taken on any idea as brainstorming was the key.

Among the ideas that landed:

• Find a better way to promote and market the airport.

• Attract corporate, business flyers to use the airport, then drive to their final destination to fish or sign a contract.

• Tied into the last item was to have a car available to pick up flyers after they land. Or, have a car available that can be picked up by the flyers at odd hours and returned.

• Improve the fueling station at the airport.

• Provide an eatery like “Enriques” that the Ponca City airport has available.

• Look into ways to extend the runway or obtain land to have a new and longer one near the present site.

• Make the airport a tourism stop for Lake Fort Gibson.

• Develop the land on the east side of the runway.

• Having an onsite flight instructor.

• Use the airport as an educational tool to promote flying.

• Look into economic development on the site.

The discussion was informative and forward thinking. As one board member said, “We have lofty goals.”

“As you said, we need to aim high here,” said chairman Taylor Tannehill.

“This is a 20-year plan and legacy we leave behind,” said Mayor Albert Jones.

When the meeting ended almost two hours later, Mayor Jones announced he will be the new interim chairman. Tannehill announced that he will be taking a new job in the Tahlequah city government and must relinquish his Airport Board duties.