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FAA OKs Hartselle airport name change

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — The Federal Aviation Administration has approved Hartselle's request to rename its municipal airport.

"We have initiated action to change the airport name on FAA records," Barbara Simmons of the FAA wrote to Mayor Dwight Tankersley.

At the request of the Airport Board, the council approved changing the name from Rountree Field to Hartselle Morgan County Regional Airport.

Chairman Steve Kimbrel said the board wants to make the airport more a county than a municipal facility.

"This is the only airport in Morgan County, and we're thinking more regional," Kimbrel said in August.

Pryor Field Regional Airport near Decatur is in Limestone County.

In the 1960s, Hartselle named the airport in honor of Asa Rountree Sr., who led the
Alabama Department of Aeronautics from 1936 until 1965. Rountree, who helped secure federal money when Hartselle moved its airport from near Crestline Elementary School, died in 1983 in Montgomery.

His son, Asa Rountree Jr., who is an attorney in Birmingham, did not oppose the name change.

While Rountree Sr. was not from Hartselle, the Rountree name first came to Hartselle in the 1870s when Dr. S.L. Rountree opened a medical office. Dr. Rountree was the grandfather of the man whom the airport honors.

Kimbrel said the name change will make it easier for the board to approach the Morgan County Commission with funding requests.

The commission currently provides funding for Pryor Field, but Kimbrel said
that's a good thing because that airport has helped Decatur grow.

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