Palestine City Council Questions Aircraft at the Airport

by Johnie Belle Reagan

I have been to many airports and Palestine is now the first one that I have ever heard that has a problem with airplanes being at the airport.

Are the owners supposed to just taxi them down the highway and park them in their yards?

Are the planes in hangers, or are they trying to force owners to rent hangers?


Just a few years ago they approached Jerry Laza (Lawnmower Man) about buying one of his 310’s and placing it on a structure at the entrance of the Palestine Municipal Airport as a sign and marker for the Airport. If I remember correctly he even offered to have the plane painted in the Military Paint scheme. Not sure what happened to that deal. But I’m sure we can’t do “good” for a local guy…

The Cessna 310 is an American four-to-six-seat, low-wing, twin-engine monoplane produced by Cessna between 1954 and 1980. It was the first twin-engine aircraft that Cessna put into production after World War II


Also, housed at the Airport is a collector Jet. The Provost T-4 training jet belonged to the Royal Air Force. Actually this could be promoted for tourism. Who wouldn’t want a picture with a only 1 of 5 fighter jet.

The BAC Jet Provost is a British jet aircraft that was in use with the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993. 

Last month we learned that the Palestine Police had sent some officers out to the airport who examined the aircraft there thoroughly.  Taking photographs, inspecting the aircraft. Taking registration numbers from the aircraft.  Even measuring components of the aircraft.

Do they suspect the aircraft is being used for something nefarious?  Or is this another scheme to try and devoid Jerry Laza of more of his property?  He owns some old aircraft….or did depending on when you read this article.

Lawnmower Man, Jerry Laza, is on the City Council Agenda, closed session, for tonight’s meeting.

Not that I ever have any hope the Palestine City Council will ever do the right thing, even though they are 100% aware former City Attorney, Ron Stutes, took the stand on June 8, 2018. While being questioned on the stand, under oath admitted he NEVER had permission to file the Civil Suit against Jerry Laza.

I wonder if they talk about how they are ever going to pay Laza for what they allowed to happen. & sweat over how a Deliberate Interference will abolish their Sovereign Immunity.

I’m going to wait to say more to see what the City’s next move will be. These people are ridiculous.

In the meantime every airport we have looked at has planes!  Yes aircraft parked at every single airport.

Does this have anything to do with Sanderson Farms?  The elite execs there use the Palestine Airport and have been for years to fly in and out of East Texas.  A few years ago they encouraged Leon County Judge Byron Ryder to get an airport created over in Leon County.  The citizens there were opposed too it and it came close to costing him an election.  On a typical day, Sanderson Farms has five airplanes fueled on the ramp and as many as 40 passengers in the hangar by 7 a.m. It’s not unusual for those airplanes to fly six legs in a single day – completely full – moving employees and customers between Sanderson’s 21 chicken plants, hatcheries and feed mills across the Southeast.

At any given stop, a Sanderson Farms aircraft might pick up or drop off supervisors, training instructors, environmental inspectors, tax auditors or one of the company’s 12,000 other employees in 11 towns from Texas to North Carolina.

The Right Technology for Rural Airports

“There’s no way our people could operate as efficiently as they do without the aircraft,” said Robin Robinson, Sanderson’s director of organizational development. “The flight department’s not an expense; it’s an investment that gives a return many times over.”

Sanderson’s aircraft are not equipped with satellite communications, but all the airplanes have been outfitted to use the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). “We go to so many remote, rural airports that are untowered,” said Lambert.

As an investment, the company’s three Learjet 31As and three Gulfstream G150s are fully utilized. The six airplanes each fly more than 600 hours a year and are configured for maximum passenger loads. The G150s have a ninth belted lavatory seat that’s filled “all the time,” said Zane Lambert, manager of aircraft operations. “We use these airplanes like trucks. We have plant managers getting on board with muddy boots.”

So whats up with the Palestine Airport?

Close Menu