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SPLOST Dominates Talk at Airport Commission

10/29/13 7:00 p.m.

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

The fate of the SPLOST on November 5th and its impact on the Richard B. Russell Airport dominated conversation at Tuesday’s Airport Commission meeting.

Hanging in the balance next week is a 1,000 foot extension of the airport’s runway, a project which would likely bring increased revenue and greater safety to the facility. The runway expansion is the second most expensive project in the entire SPLOST package with a price tag of over 5.76 million-dollars. The airport runway project trails only the proposed Tennis Center of Georgia in cost among the 28 projects contained in the SPLOST proposal.

Airport Manager Mike Matthews describes his support for the SPLOST in terms of keeping up with the improved aviation infrastructure offered in neighboring communities;

“We’ve been very proactive in our efforts here at the airport in trying to stay ahead of the other airports in our infrastructure. Recently a lot of airports have gained momentum and if not surpassed in a way or (become) equal to. If we did have an additional runway that would put us ahead of the game again.”  

Among other items of business at the meeting were unanimous votes of approval for an environmental study to be done on a 400 foot expansion to the South runway at the cost of $15,000 and acceptance of a bid of $57,600 for new roofs to be built on the main hangar and ten other hangars throughout the airport. Both items are expected to be placed in front of the Floyd County Commission for approval at their next scheduled meeting November 12th.

Financial data from the “Wings Over North Georgia Airshow” held earlier this month are not yet available, but should be completed by the end of November according to Matthews.