If you’ve never sat outside the Tuscaloosa National Airport and watched the planes come in and take off, you’ve missed out on a treat.

Wait! You probably don’t even remember when the airport was a site for commercial flights, do you? Flights for American Eagle flew into Tuscaloosa for a while.

That was the airline of choice for my dad.  When we first moved to Alabama, he would “come home” every few weeks while continuing to work in Chicago.

My mom would pack us and our snacks into the car and drive to the airport, where we’d anxiously await the landing of the American Eagle plane.  We’d run up to the gates, anxiously awaiting the glimpse of our dad emerging from the plane before he picked up his bags, and when it was time for him to go back to Chicago, we’d follow the same process in reverse.

So, when conversations began concerning commercial flights returning to our airport, nostalgic memories flooded in and piqued my curiosity!

Here’s the latest:

Our daily reports that a Tuscaloosa City Council committee has advanced an $8.3 million contract to S.T. Bunn Construction for the reconstruction of the airport’s runway, which would accommodate larger and newer aircraft.

This will make it easier to recruit a commercial air service provider.

The Federal Aviation Administration is said to have awarded a $9.44 million grant as part of the CARES Act. So, city leaders are looking into whether the remaining amount unused by the runway project may be used for other airport-based projects.

Construction on the new runway is set to begin in April 2021 and should be finished by August 2021. Source.

So, we’re at least a year away from being able to catch flights from Tuscaloosa. But can’t you just imagine asking someone to drop you off across town for a 5:00 a.m. flight versus asking for a ride to an airport an hour away?

That time can’t come soon enough!

Then again, we’ve gone this long without it.  There’s no rush, guys. Take your time and do it right.

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