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City allows after hours airport access to pilots

COVINGTON - The city of Covington has made arrangements for pilots and passengers to access the terminal building at Covington Municipal Airport after hours.

Recently, an airport authority member who flew into the airport after hours discovered a mother and her young daughter waiting for a ride in 100 degree heat. The two had been dropped off after receiving transportation by a company that transports patients for medical treatment. The authority member offered to let the mother and her child sit in his air conditioned car until their ride arrived. Airport Manager Vincent Passariello said the company did not file proper paperwork with the FAA regarding its flight plan and staff at the airport were not aware the mother and daughter would be flying in after hours.

"We said we need to do something about allowing people into the building and that's what has been done," said Airport Authority Chairman John Howard, who said the authority sent a letter to City Manager Steve Horton requesting the city allow after hours access to allow pilots and passengers to use the restroom or get out of the weather.

Passariello said a code device has been installed and pilots are provided access to the code to get inside a certain portion of the building. Cameras will need to be installed to provide additional security, he said, adding that the entire cost will likely be "a couple thousand dollars" to the city.

The planned new terminal building has been designed with an entrance specifically for after hours access to a restroom and seating area, he said.