August 11th: A Sentimental Salute!
Born of a modest generation later generations would call “The Greatest,” the B-17 Flying Fortress pictured here will take the region on a sentimental journey August 11th at the Lewis-Clark Air Festival in a special Salute to Veterans.
Like tens of thousands of military aircraft since the dawn of aviation, this one is adorned with “nose art.” It’s restored from tail gun to flight deck with historical accuracy. But for many, it’s the sight of Betty Grable’s teasing look back over her shoulder and the sweet refrain of the Andrews Sisters crooning the Bomber’s theme song that will soften even the most hardened. That’s just what happens when Sentimental Journey shows up.
Baby boomers will stare in silence at the bomb bay, wondering what their fathers endured to deliver its payload. Misty-eyed veterans will thumb carefully through mental images conjured up at the sight of the old warbird, while wheelchair-borne Rosie-the-Riveters will search the aluminum skin for that single rivet they remember above all others.
The Commemorative Air Force (the aircraft owner) expects the big bomber to arrive at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport late Thursday, August 9th. Her crew will spend Friday in media tours and public relations efforts. Then August 11th, the Air Festival gates open at 8:00 am with a star spangled, red-white-and-blue tribute to veterans at 10:00 am. So pack a box of tissue and head to the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport August 11th for a Sentimental Journey!
Parking Lot Maintenance
The main customer parking lots will undergo maintenance beginning the first week in June in a three-phased, month-long project aimed at refurbishing the asphalt and extending its life expectancy. The first phase of the project will focus on two areas, the first one between the airline terminal building and FedEx, and the second one, the south east corner of the main lot. Phase Two will be the southernmost section of the main lot (the half closest to the terminal building) while the third phase will rehabilitate the asphalt in the northernmost section of the main lot and the smaller lot between the airline terminal building and Stout Flying Service.
During the project, customers are encouraged to either have family and friends drive them to the airport, or use the overflow section which is the grassy area west of the main entrance road across from the T-33 Aircraft Static Display (the trainer on the pedestal next to the road). Vehicles in the way of construction may have to be towed.
Maintenance efforts will include asphalt cleaning, crack sealing, seal coating, and repainting parking lines. This will be the first time the parking lot has ever had any maintenance, according to Robin Turner, Airport Manager.
We know there will be some inconvenience to customers,” he said, but the end result will be a fine looking parking facility that will last longer. Airport staff hopes to complete the project in June. And as always, parking is free for airport customers.
Authority Adopts 5-Year Plan
With just over a year behind it, the Airport Authority Board began looking forward, and the future is what they had in mind on November 30th when they adopted their first capital improvement plan. The Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport Authority Board presented its first budget mid June to the Lewison City Council and the Nez Perce County Board of Commissioners.
The document maps out the major projects they would like to see accomplished over the next five years, including completion of south side taxiways and aprons, rehabilitating pavements on the north side, rebuilding runway 12-30, and modernizing the airfield lighting system.
“...we must insure future development... enhances the economic viability of the region.” Bill McCann, Jr
Also on the Board’s radar is a master plan.
“With limited real estate and competing development demands, we absolutely must exercise care to insure future development is orderly and organized, thereby enhancing the economic viability of the region,” said Bill McCann, Jr., Board Chairman.
Other projects on tap include a comprehensive look at airport rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) equipment and facilities, a passenger screening room rest room, a “satellite” parking lot, rehabilitating the main parking lot, and numerous other facilities maintenance projects.