TIMBER!: Trees Are Coming Down at Valdosta Regional Airport

The trees are coming down so pilots can have a safer route into the airport. The project is not intended to be a quick fix, but rather a long-term solution.

Each year more passengers choose to fly in and out of Valdosta Regional Airport, and while the airline industry has been working for years to improve safety, the Valdosta Airport is about to take its first big step in that direction.

Bob Holliway, Director of Valdosta Regional Airport, says, "Needless to say, it’s for safety purposes. Whether you have one plane landing or 10 planes landing or 100 planes landing, you want to make sure you meet all the safety requirements that are set out by the FAA."

This massive project will remove trees near each end of Valdosta's three runways, and the best part is it will not cost local taxpayers anything extra because it's all being paid through federal grants.

Airport Director Bob Holliway says this project will help take care of the problem for many years to come.

Holliway says, “We could have the same problem 15 years from now if we just cut them down and let other trees come back."

But the airport's maintenance plan says pilots should see plenty of clear ground leading up to their runways, something that Holliway says will put pilots at ease and allow them to fly more smoothly into and out of Valdosta.

Officials say it shouldn't take long to remove an estimated 40 to 50 acres of the trees once work begins.