Runway project nears completion - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Runway project nears completion

May 3, 2006

Valdosta - Aircraft coming in and out of the Valdosta Regional Airport will soon have a lot more room to work with. A 3.9 million dollar runway expansion project is almost complete. "Right now they're doing some additional electrical work for the runway and taxi lights," said Bob Holliway, Airport Director.

The main runway has been extended by 2,000 feet. "We took it from 6,302 feet to 8,002 feet," said Holliway.

That makes the runway the third longest in the state, behind runways in Atlanta and Savannah. Now, people traveling from this airport only have the option of flying Delta, but Airport Director Bob Holliway hopes the extension project will change that. "Hopefully in the long run it will be a benefit if we can attract another airline, different airplanes coming in, economic activity here in the airport," said Holliway.

It will also make the airport more attractive to aviation business. "Say a company that specializes in providing maintenance on commercial airplanes, they would want an airport with enough land to accommodate their operations but also an airport with a long enough runway to accommodate the planes coming in and out," said Holliway.

And Moody Air Force Base will also reap the benefits. "The T-38's land at a much higher airspeed than the C-130's and landing at the higher airspeed requires a longer runway for them to land," said Holliway. 

The paving is finished, now all construction crews have left is a little electrical work. Airport officials hope to open the new runway in about four months. The 3.9 million dollar runway expansion project was funded with money from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the Federal Aviation Authority, and Valdosta and Lowndes County governments.

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