Long wait is over

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Mount Olive Municipal Airport’s long wait is over. Federal funds to cover its cost of a $170,000 Automated Weather Observation System (AWOS) are on the way.

Local airport Fixed Based Operator Mike Bass said he was notified the money will be deposited into this year’s fiscal budget. 

“We were second on a wait list, but then COVID came along and I don’t know what happened. We were moved to the top of the list and we were funded,” Bass said. 

Federal authorities will install the high-tech weather system on a 33-foot tower just southwest of the runway.

AWOS is set to provide up-to-the-minute, detailed weather forecasts to incoming and outgoing pilots 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Bass called it the most important thing that has happened at the local airport in the 20 years he has been there.

“It is also a tremendous safety improvement,” he added.

The system is on order now and Bass said it usually takes about four months to be delivered.

Once it is delivered, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Division personnel will be on site to install it.

Pilots have complained about the lack of a weather system, requesting it for years.

Bass said the system will be even more important now with the helicopter Vidant Care medical service based at the local airport.

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