It was an important day in the history of Thomasville as plans finally got off the ground for the highly anticipated new airport terminal.

The opening of quail season means more traffic through the Thomasville Municipal Airport, which would lift the spirits of any merchant, but there's one reason airport officials aren't looking forward to the crowd, the condition of their terminal.

“Thomasville enjoys the visit of many influential people and I don't think the terminal always represents authentically what Thomasville is. I think the community is much better than the terminal,” said Georgia Gov. Sonny Purdue.

Built back in 1961, the airport is past due for a facelift.

Ronnie Bozeman of the Airport Advisory Board added, “It's a concrete block structure, very economically done for the time, it's just outlived its life, it's worn out!"

But soon it will be taken to new heights. Saturday, state and local leaders broke ground for the new state of the art, 500,000 square foot terminal set to be up and running next year.

Rick Singletary, Thomasville’s mayor, shared, “This is going to do lots of things for us in terms of industrial development, bringing new people in our community."

Gov. Purdue added, "Your front door needs to be as nice as your house. What they will have is a front door, a greeting to visitors that helps them begin to feel good about Thomasville from the moment they step off the plane."

It’s making a first impression that goes the distance.

The million-dollar facility is partially being paid for by a Georgia state grant. The city and county government are also pitching in to help.