Bob Sikes Airport in Crestview stands out from its competitors

Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 01:35 PM.

In addition to demonstrating the airport's capabilities, the flight showed the county and local airport personnel’s adaptability, former County Airports Director Greg Donovan said.

Officials planned the giant airplane's arrival, mapped its overnight position at L3 Crestview Aerospace's apron, and planned its push back into take-off position the next morning.

A rental "tug," or airport tractor, maneuvered the plane into position. Widening the taxiways — which occurred after the Antonov roared into the morning sky on its return flight to Russia — has eliminated the need to rent a tug.

Hampered airport access

Okaloosa County Airports and the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce want the issue of lacking airport access addressed soon.

From the south, airport traffic must meander from U.S. Highway 90 through Shoffner City neighborhood residential streets, including Hare Street, a dirt road.

To visit L3 Crestview Aerospace and east-side airport tenants, drivers must use the two-lane Fairchild Road, which also goes through a residential neighborhood. Though paved between Highway 90 and Crestview Aerospace, south from Airport Road, Fairchild is a dirt road. The paved John Givens Road, on the airport’s west side, serves the airport and the county's Industrial Air Park from Airport Road.

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