Cullman Regional Airport celebrates 65 years of flight and community service

Cullman Regional Airport then General Manager Ben Harrison (center) gives a tour of the airport in 2017. (Cullman Tribune file photo)

CULLMAN, Ala. – As Cullman Regional Airport marks its 65th anniversary, Director Ben Harrison reflected on its enduring impact and evolving role in the community.

From its inception, the airport has been integral to Cullman’s growth. “Without a thriving airport, a community is not able to grow,” Harrison said, emphasizing the importance of the airport in facilitating the quick movement of goods and people to sustain business.

When asked about the significant milestones in the airport’s history, Harrison highlighted the rebuild of the runway as a key achievement. This development underscores the airport’s commitment to maintaining robust infrastructure.

The economic impact of the airport extends far beyond its direct employment. “The airport has seven direct jobs that it employs, but the businesses and industries on the field account for 141 direct and indirect jobs,” Harrison explained, pointing to the significant economic contribution of the airport on the local economy.

Technologically, the airport has strived to modernize. “We are always trying to improve everything from lights to weather stations to security,” Harrison noted, indicating ongoing efforts to enhance the airport’s capabilities and safety.

Community engagement is another facet of the airport’s operations. Every year it hosts the popular Cullman County Veterans Day Celebration, which sees hundreds come out to celebrate local veterans and historic military aircraft.

In terms of operations, Harrison provided an overview of the current activities at the airport. “We are currently between 25,000-30,000 operations a year,” he said, showcasing the airport’s bustling nature.

Funding has been one of the biggest challenges for the airport. “Our biggest challenge is funding and how we work the project in the timeline based on needs and funding opportunities,” Harrison said, acknowledging the crucial support of the Cullman City Council, Cullman County Commission, Alabama Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration in overcoming these challenges.

Looking ahead, the airport is focused on embracing new ideas and technologies. “We are always looking for new ideas and innovative ways to keep up with the new advanced technology,” Harrison stated.

An additional point of interest at the airport is its restaurant, which offers panoramic views of the field. “We do have a restaurant onsite with three walls of glass that have great views of the field,” Harrison shared, expressing a desire to inspire the next generation of aviation enthusiasts and professionals.

Cullman Regional Airport is located at 231 County Road 1360 in Vinemont.

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