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UAM invites officials to tour operations following complaints

TUPELO — A company that dissembles wide-body commercial aircraft has invited Tupelo officials to take a tour amid some public criticism of how its operation looks.

Universal Asset Management flies 747s and other decommissioned aircraft to Tupelo and takes them apart in the former Army Air National Guard facility. The parts are then recycled.

To help block the hulking jets from view, the city planted trees and shrubs near the fence line bordering the facility. But it will take years for the foliage to grow into an effective screen.

The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal reports some residents apparently have complained to city officials about what they claim is an unsightly view.

UAM opened operations at Tupelo Regional Airport in 2011.

“I think the biggest misconception is that UAM is a junkyard that causes damage, and that’s the furthest thing from the truth,” said Keri Wright, COO for the Memphis-based company.

“We’re not a junkyard. We run a highly sophisticated and highly skilled process that the entire aviation industry depends on,” Wright said.

UAM flies 747s and other decommissioned aircraft to Tupelo and takes them apart in the former Army Air National Guard facility. The parts are then recycled.

Council member Mike Bryan said some constituents that are unhappy with all the planes.

“They want to know how many more planes will come in and are we getting money from them sitting there,” he said.

UAM pays the airport $85,000 annually for its lease. That rate will increase each year until capping at $115,000.

 

Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

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