How Cool Is Cullman Regional Airport? Extremely Cool!

by | Nov 9, 2017 | Business, City News, County News, Cullman, Cullman City, Get Smart, Images, Interviews, Videos

After spending Saturday at Cullman Regional Airport with 10,000+ people for the Veterans Day Celebration, we were struck by just what an incredibly cool place the airfield is.

As a result, we requested a full tour of the facility. We are grateful to the powers-that-be for allowing us to do precisely that.

Airport Director and Human Aviation Swiss Army Knife Ben Harrison took us on an hour-long journey through the buildings, across the tarmac and well beyond the obvious.

In this multiple part interview series, you get to see most everything we did. Afterward, you will be impressed, fascinated and VERY interested in aviation (if you aren’t already).

Here in Part 1, Airport Director Harrison runs down a ton of profound facts and answers these arcane questions:

• How does the daily Cullman Today Weather Forecast Data come from the airport?
• Did you know Cullman Regional Airport has LIVE interactive flight radar that YOU can see?
• Why is Cullman, AL is listed as 969 feet above sea level?
• Why is their a giant hole in the middle of the main taxiway?
• How did Folsom Field come into being? Why is it now named Cullman Regional Airport?
• Just how flammable is jet fuel?
• Where are the little air traffic control men? And where is the flight tower?
• Did you know the best public cafe in northern Cullman County is located at the Airport?

Here in Part 2, Airport Director Harrison runs down a ton of profound facts and answers these arcane questions:

• Do we really need an airport in Cullman?
• I’ve never flown out of Cullman Airport. What kind of aircraft flies in and out of here?
• Is there really a critical shortage of pilots, engineers, maintenance workers in the aviation field?
• What is Guest Aviation & who is Neil Guest?
• If God wanted a man to fly, wouldn’t have he given us wings?
• How cool is the Air Evac Lifeteam medical helicopter company and the people that work for them?
• What is that tall orange & white pole with a big dish on top of it at the airport?
• How do students and parents get involved in aviation as a future career path?
• Does Wallace State Community College really have three training helicopters and seven training airplanes?
• Who are these dudes in the main terminal talking about how big their propellors are?

The History of Cullman Regional Airport (aka Folsom Field)

The Cullman Regional Airport is a joint venture between the City and County of Cullman, Alabama.

Beginning in the mid-to-late 1950’s, land was purchased to build a runway. The land was purchased from the Thompson, Drake, and Thornton families. At that time, Governor Jim (Big Jim) Folsom, a Cullman Native, was very much a supporter of the project.

The Field was named in his honor as Folsom Field.

The first landing strip was dirt in an East/West direction and 2800 feet long. It was paved a short time later. You can still see the remnant of the old strip on the south end when flying over the field. A few years later the North/South runway was constructed. It was 4500 feet and paved.

In November 1956, the City and County adopted a resolution to form and Airport Board. The Board consists of five members. Each member serves a four year term that runs concurrently with the Mayor of the City and the Chairman of the County Commission. The Mayor appoints one person from the City and the Chairman appoints a person from the County. Together those four individuals elect a fifth person.

Beginning in the 1970’s the Federal Aviation Administration made funds available for improvements to the runway and capital investments. Since that time there have been many grants with matching funds from the city and county.

The current north/south runway is 5500 feet long, 100 feet wide and lighted. It is accompanied by a full length lighted taxiway, fifty-six T-hangars, ten corporate hangers, helicopter hangers, a terminal building with full service restaurant. The airport has precision approach path indicators, an automatic weather observation station, and a ground communications outlet.

The current board members are as follows:

Mayor Woody Jacobs – City of Cullman
Chairman Kenneth Walker – Cullman County Commission
Dr. Vince Karolewics
Ms. Tanya Carter
Dr. Ben Gomez

The Airport staff includes:

Ben Harrison – General Manager
Harwood Drake – Pilot/Lineman
Jim Turner – Lineman

How Cool Is Cullman Regional Airport? Extremely Cool!
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Cullman Regional Airport aka Folsom Field
How Cool Is Cullman Regional Airport? Extremely Cool!

Timothy Collins

Originally from Asheville, NC, Timothy brings an insightful holistic perspective as well as a mountain man tenacity to his various roles at Cullman Today. You can reach him at cullmantoday@gmail.com and/or (256) 615-8260.