By MAGGIE MENDERSKI
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
HANNIBAL, Mo. — An air ambulance company may move into Hannibal Regional Airport.
George Walley, executive director for Northeast Missouri Economic Development Council, announced during Tuesday’s City Council meeting that final negotiations with an air ambulance company are underway. Walley did not provide the name of the company, but said the company operated two other air ambulance bases in Missouri. Walley expects the base will bring as many as nine high-paying jobs to the community, as well as provide the community with easier access to air ambulance services.
“It adds a quality of life feature and a safety feature,” Walley said.
Walley told the council the air ambulance crew will be on the property around the clock. Councilman Mike Dobson said the company had originally wanted to locate on the north side of town, near Oak Ridge Pond. When residents expressed concern about noise levels, the airport became an interest site. Dobson said having the company there full time might dissuade recent difficulties with vandalism.
“It’ll be a great asset to have someone there 24/7,” Dobson said.
Walley hopes to bring legal documents for the agreement to the council within the next two council meetings. The air ambulance company intends to build a temporary hanger at the airport in order to open up shop more quickly. Walley expects a permanent facility to be built at the airport in about a year.