Airport struck by vandalism

Elton Hensley Memorial Airport was the site of vandalism last week when an individual or individuals broke a series of runway lights.

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“Approximately 40 of the runway lights appear to have been knocked over,” Fulton Director of Administration Bill Johnson said, estimating the damages at approximately $5,000. “The runway lights are designed to break over, so if a plane were to hit one while landing it would not cause any damage (to the plane).”

Despite that design, he said it was obvious the broken lights at the airport were the result of a deliberate action.

“Somebody definitely did it on purpose — (the damage is on) both sides of the runway on both runways,” Johnson said. “The police are investigating.”

In the meantime, he said the airport is operating on limited hours.“This is a serious safety hazard. The airport is out of service during nighttime hours until it gets fixed,” Johnson said. “As soon as we can get parts and get them installed, we’ll be open again.”

He said the lights that need repaired involve common parts, but they must be ordered from specific sources and the repair itself is labor-intensive.

“You have to go out to each light and disconnect the wiring, replace the light and then reconnect the wiring,” Johnson said.

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