Valdosta City Council to weigh airport improvement projects

Published: Sep. 17, 2019 at 7:21 PM EDT
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By: Emma Wheeler | WCTV Eyewitness News

September 17, 2019

LOWNDES COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) -- Improvements at the Valdosta Regional Airport are soon to take flight.

This week the Valdosta City Council is expected to consider a contract with the Georgia Department of Transportation for several improvements to the airport.

Airport officials are looking to make improvements to drainage near the airport, as well as improvements to several taxi ways near the General Aviation.

Officials said the taxi ways are some of the oldest portions of concrete and in need of improvements. The work could also allow for future space for more hangars and planes at General Aviation.

"It's in need of being done, but we're also going to strengthen them and widen them a little bit," said Executive Director Jim Galloway. "On the northernmost, it will actually open up some space if they want to build more hangars, so we're going to remove a power pole that will allow wider wing spans to come in."

Galloway said there has been a growing interest in keeping planes at General Aviation, with every hangar now full and an existing waiting list.

The proposed contract also covers phase two of the project to build a new Air Traffic Control Tower.

The project was included in the Transportation-Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (TSPLOST) approved by South Georgia voters last year. Phase two includes a design study, which airport officials expect to take about 180 days.

Officials hope to have construction on the tower well underway this time next year.

Lowndes County voters will be again faced with a SPLOST option on the November ballot. One of the projects included in the list for Lowndes County is a new General Aviation building. Galloway said the building is more than 70 years old. Officials are looking to rebuild on the same property, just next to where the building now stands.

The Valdosta City Council will meet Thursday.