Taylor County Airport Expansion Taking Off

After years of neglect, expansion plans are underway. Pilots say the Perry-Foley Airport is in the perfect location with almost perfect service.

Pilot Bob McDonald says, "It's real nice. It could use a little restaurant or some FBO, where you come in and get some services, but it works."

By February 2006, the Perry-Foley Airport will have a new look. In fact, work has already begun with the rehabilitation of the airport surface. The main part of the project is building a new terminal, but other improvements will come first.

Scott Nobles, the airport manager, says, "Right now they're doing an apron rehab project. They're going to resurface and put new tie-downs. Part of the contract, they're going to resurface and re-strip the runway, not resurface, but repaint."

The Perry-Foley Airport is a general aviation airport for private jets only, but the new changes include the expansion of one of the runways to handle jet charter planes. The entire project will cost almost $900,000.

Melody Cox of County Administrative Services says, "We are putting $891,000 into the airport. This is all grant-funded with the exception of a little over $8,000. The airport terminal itself is completely funded through the state, [so] we [have] a million dollar project with only $8,000 on our part."

In addition to the expansion and improvements at the Perry-Foley Airport, officials say potential coastal developments should really pick up business.

The airport is a former World War II air base. The project is scheduled to be completed by February 2006.