Small children pressed hands to their ears as North American T-6 and T-28 airplanes performed for the Grand Re-Opening Ceremony at the Cleveland Municipal Airport on Thursday.
"We're very excited that we have extended that runway to 5,000 feet and bigger planes will be able to get in here. We'll be a lot more business oriented this way and we're excited for all the work that's been done and the many years of history that go into this airport. It means a lot to Cleveland," said Mayor Billy Nowell.
Pilots of the three T-6s that flew over Cleveland residents were Ike Brunetti of Cleveland, Jimmy Fordham of Monroe, La., and Stan Musik of Vicksburg.
Pilots of the T-28s were Mac McNeer and Frank Kimmel, both of Greenwood.
“While the airport has been operating since the 1940s, the facility has just undergone several upgrades this past year including the addition of a 1,000 foot runway extension,” said Airport Director Clint Johnson in a previous interview. “Other major upgrades have also taken place over the past year.”
The runway extension now makes the overall length of the runway 5,005 feet and will now open up the Cleveland Municipal Airport to larger, corporate traffic, which has previously had to fly to nearby airports and drive to Cleveland.
As well as the runway extension, the Cleveland Municipal Airport has also upgraded its electrical and weather systems.
With the building of the Grammy Museum underway, the runway will only aid in its success.
"Those will go hand in hand. We will have a lot of people from all over the country flying in here just to go to the Grammy Museum. The timing on this is perfect because we plan to start building next year. We got this now and I think we are going to take it one step at a time and do a good job," said Nowell.
With a large green ribbon set up on the runway, children cheered as one of the T-6s flew low and through the ribbon for the official ribbon cutting and Cleveland Municipal Airport is proudly open for business.