The Florida Department of Transportation is funding some major improvements at the Tri-County Airport in Holmes County. They include an extended runway, added new hangars, fuel service and security lighting. Airport officials are hoping it will boost their local economy.
The Tri-County airport near Bonifay suffers from a bit of an identity crisis.
Some people still don't even know it exists.
"This is the best asset that we have in this part of the county right now, Washington, Holmes and Jackson," says Gary Cushman, Tri-County Airport Operations Manager.
The airport currently houses about 27 aircraft, mostly twin and single engine prop planes.
Cushman is hoping the proposed 1000 foot runway extension will attract more jet owners.
"It's exciting to see things that we have worked on for a while start to come to fruition," Cushman adds.
The Florida Department of Transportation is also planning to add two new hangars, one “T” hangar, as well as providing more fuel service and improving security lighting. This is one of many projects on DOT's 2012-2016 tentative work program list.
"It's nothing unusual for the department to do, the department is not only road and bridge, but it's also seaports, airports and transit. So all of that comes under the umbrella of the Florida Department of Transportation, says" Tommie Speights, Public Information Director for FDOT.
"It's important that the community realizes that we are here and that we are of service to the community." Cushman is hoping it will create a ripple effect to boost the local economy and make them more competitive with neighboring airports. "The potential is unlimited."