Huntsville’s expertise in aerospace and missile defense has always been on full exhibit for visitors to Huntsville International Airport.
Now, thanks to a partnership between the airport and Carnegie Visual Arts Center in Decatur, travelers will be greeted by artistic expressions of Alabama’s rich Southern culture and breathtaking landscapes created by artists from across the Tennessee Valley.
Alabama Sen. Arthur Orr joined Huntsville International Airport CEO Rick Tucker and Carnegie Visual Arts Center Executive Director Kim Mitchell for the unveiling of two inspirational art galleries at the airport.
The Airport Artway is on the second floor of the airport terminal, directly above the airline ticket counters and baggage claim.
The opening exhibit is entitled, “Friends and Family of the Carnegie Visual Arts Center.” The gallery features of work from 15 local artists in a variety of mediums from traditional paintings and sculpture to mixed media.
The art gallery can be viewed anytime free of charge and will welcome new works every quarter.
“Huntsville International Airport is pleased to partner with Carnegie Visual Arts Center on our brand-new Airport Artway and Community Art Wall,” said Tucker. “We are excited to utilize our facility to continue to allow people from all over the world to experience a part of our community while visiting HSV.
“We are hopeful that this will encourage them to stay a little longer, come back and visit again, or take a piece of North Alabama home when they go.”
The airport also unveiled a Community Art Wall in the breezeway connecting the airport to the parking garage on the second level.
This quarter, the Community Art Wall is featuring a series entitled “Therapy Through Art.” It features art created through the Carnegie Center’s outreach program with its partner, the Mental Health Center of North Alabama. The artists in this series were students of the late Jason “JBird” Sharp, a well-respected Decatur artist.
“The Carnegie Visual Arts Center is excited to partner with the Huntsville International Airport to showcase local artists and community outreach programs like the Mental Health Association art therapy program,” said Mitchell. “This is a great opportunity to share with everyone the growing art community in our region.”
The airport will host artist receptions each quarter when a art series is unveiled.
Huntsville is one of six state airports to receive $14,344,107 in grants through the FAA’s Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations. Shelby is chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which authors and advances FAA and DOT funding legislation and the money is distributed based on entitlement and discretionary awards.
Huntsville will receive $10,426,057 to rehabilitate a runway and an apron (tarmac and ramp), to reconstruct taxiway lighting and airfield guidance signs, and to rehabilitate and construct a taxiway.
“We are grateful to Senator Shelby for his continued contributions to our industry and, specifically, for his support of this funding which will be used for needed improvements to Taxiway E that is parallel to our 10,000 foot east runway,” said Airport CEO Rick Tucker. “The east runway is the second longest runway in the Southeast and impacts not only our passenger and cargo operation in Huntsville, but this entire region of the country since we often receive diversions from other airports.”
Tucker said the improvements are necessary to ensure both runways remain operational to help continue economic development in North Alabama.
“Huntsville was recognized as the fastest-growing metro area in Alabama and is on track to become the state’s largest city in the next five years” said Dr. Carl J. Gessler Jr., chairman of the airport board. “In the past decade, more than half of the jobs in the state have been created in Huntsville so, as our city grows, it is imperative for the airport’s infrastructure to be able to keep up.”
The work is scheduled to begin Aug. 15.
MONTGOMERY — The Port of Huntsville received a 2019 Governor’s Trade Excellence Award Wednesday in a ceremony at the State Capitol with Gov. Kay Ivey. The annual awards recognize companies that fuel Alabama’s robust export business and sell their innovative designs and products in markets worldwide.
The Port of Huntsville was one of eight honorees chosen for the key roles they played in the critical transportation industry, which has sparked new jobs and investments in communities across the state. Also recognized were Huntsville-based RMCI, Aerostar, GKN Aerospace–Alabama, Help Lightning, Polyvance, Trinity Highway Products, and Zorn Molds.
“The Port of Huntsville is honored to be acknowledged by Gov. Kay Ivey and Export Alabama Alliance for trade excellence,” said Rick Tucker, executive director of the Port of Huntsville. “We are grateful to our partners LG Electronics, Toyota, Panalpina and Norfolk Southern for joining us today.
“We also thank (Huntsville) Mayor Tommy Battle, (Madison County) Chairman Dale Strong and representatives from the North Alabama International Trade Association for supporting us not just today at the Capitol as we received this award, but always in our efforts to stimulate the economic growth and development of the Tennessee Valley region.”
Alabama export figures topped $21 billion last year as shipments reached 191 countries according to information from the Alabama Department of Commerce earlier this month. The total, which came during a year marked by global trade tensions, is just 2 percent shy of the record $21.8 billion in exports set in 2017.
Known officially as the Huntsville-Madison County Airport Authority, the Port of Huntsville incorporates Huntsville International Airport, International Intermodal Center and Jetplex Industrial Park. The Port of Huntsville has the only scheduled international cargo flights in the state and ranks 18th among continental U.S. airports in international air cargo volume. The International Intermodal Center ships and receives ocean containers by rail, to and from both East and West Coast seaports.
“We are especially pleased to recognize the Port of Huntsville this year,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of the International Trade Office at the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Without this first-class multimodal transportation operation, many of Alabama’s products would not be shipped from our state.
“This facility is certainly a critical part of our state’s international infrastructure.”
Beginning in June, American Airlines will offer more early morning and evening flight options for passengers traveling direct from Huntsville to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
Customers in Huntsville will have the opportunity to make one stop in Dallas/Fort Worth to travel to places such as Dublin and Munich, where American is launching seasonal service for the first time in June.
“We are very excited that American made the decision to add service to the Huntsville market and we know that our customers will appreciate more options and will utilize this service,” said airport Board Chairman Dr. Carl J. Gessler Jr.
While airport officials recognize the benefits of the added service, they are quick to point out that continued growth will require the support of the community.
“These additions are another step to provide all of the citizens of the Tennessee Valley more air travel options and phenomenal savings,” said airport Executive Director Rick Tucker. “American sees potential in Huntsville’s market, and we are glad they chose to expand their presence (here).
“This is great news and if the business community and our residents support our local airport we will all enjoy more air travel options with guaranteed lower fares.”
For more information or to make reservations, visit aa.com. Reservations can also be made at no additional charge using the Huntsville Hot Ticket Hot Line service by calling 256-258-1944, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.