Flying enthusiasts are preparing for a big weekend in Marianna.

You'd think most people would've at least "heard" about the Marianna Municipal Airport, even if they haven't seen it. Byron Ward is on the Industrial Airport Board. "The biggest purpose of the fly in is to introduce the public, reintroduce the public, to the airport. We have fine airport, a very large airport, and a lot of people don't know it's here."

Ward says the airport's location is perfect for pilots, but difficult to publicize. "I hate to say it's out in the country, but it's out in the country! So, a lot of flights go and come and people don't hear the planes or see them so it's out of sight out of mind.

The public may not know about it, but pilots sure do. "Our particular airport has two 5 thousand foot runways which allows for a large aircraft to land. We sell anywhere from 5 to 6 thousand gallons of fuel a month. We have 50 rental units that are all sold except for one.

Airport officials say, besides showing off their facility, they've also got some great displays for the fly-in. "Because it is Armed Forces Day everybody is trying to do this so the aircraft that are readily available? Now you're competing for them. But we'll have things like helicopter rides, static display of helicopters, static display of war birds, Amelia replica will be there for you to look at, so we were pretty successful on our bids."

The Fly In is all day Saturday and it's free to the public.

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