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Published: August 16, 2019

The Public Service Committee will recommended to the Giles County Commission Monday to authorize filing an eminent domain lawsuit relative to removing trees from Abernathy Field Airport. Abernathy Field is jointly operated by Giles County and the city of Pulaski and managed by Randy Jones.  Jones said he was pleased with the committee recommendation and that the local governments now have approximately two months to come up with a plan to save the airport. In a letter written to City Administrator Terry Harrison earlier this year, until the property is acquired, trees removed and Section I violations mitigated, TDOT Aeronautics will be forced to withhold future funding for Abernathy Field. A Section I violation deals with the speed and height of approaches and takeoffs from Abernathy Field, which are set by the Federal Aeronautics Administration. The local airport receives an annual $150,000 grant to help pay for airport improvements from the state.  Airport representatives have been unable to reach an agreement with a number of adjoining landowners whose properties pose safety issues. Pulaski Mayor Pat Ford met with landowners on behalf of the airport and told the committee they "want us to go away and leave them alone". If nothing is done by the city and county, the airport will close, and companies which use the airport will need to look elsewhere for service. Before condemning the property, there would be another round of arbitration, and a reappraisal of the land would be done.