By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
Lebanon Police continue to investigate an incident of vandalism that occurred recently at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.
While the crime of vandalism is frequently chalked up to kids being mischievous, Airport Manager Myron Lasater said this case is no laughing matter.
On the north end of the runway there are various lights used for visual approaches for pilots to be able to see the runway at night. There is a set of high intensity strobe lights called runway end identifier or RIEL lights. They identify the actual touchdown zone of the runway, he explained. We discovered that someone had broken into the power supply box and cut the wires and cut the fixture itself.
Police Chief Scott Bowen said that any damages over $500 are a federal offense.
We have a couple-month timeframe that we are looking at when this could have occurred. Our biggest concern is the safety aspect of it, Bowen said. It is hard to fathom that someone would do this knowing that the lights are used to guide the planes into the airport.
It is very serious. Weve had some issues of rocks and stuff thrown on the taxiways, weve had a problem with people damaging our rotating beacon before, but it is not taken lightly, Lasater said, adding that Vanderbilt University Medical Centers LifeFlight helicopter, corporate and personal aircraft use the facility and need for it to be managed and safe.
LifeFlight operates here and you know they are here doing their job for our community and saving lives.
Bowen said that individuals with any information on the vandalism should call 444-2323.