Albany airport to receive millions in federal funding - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany airport to receive millions in federal funding

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By Cade Fowler - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – The aging terminal at Southwest Georgia Regional Airport may soon be replaced.

Airport officials just found out they're getting more than $5 million, the majority coming from the federal government, to build a new terminal.

"The FAA has discretionary funding available at the end of every year. We were competing against other projects nationwide that had a higher priority than we did. So any money that we could put in our coffers was going to be a major victory for us," said airport director Yvette Aehle.

Aehle met with city leaders who felt confident they could set aside $1.5 million to meet the local share necessary for Albany's airport to be in consideration for FAA funding.

"If you can't come up with the local share, you can't accept the grant. Because other (cities) couldn't come up with their local share we were able to gain money from that," she said.

Bids will open on the terminal construction in November. Mean time, the value of having a new terminal is appealing to airport and economic development officials because of the image it provides to visitors and potential investors.

"It's the first impression a lot of people get when they visit Albany, so it's very important that we have an attractive terminal that can serves the needs of our community but also the visitors who are coming here," said Albany/Dougherty Economic Commission President Ted Clem.

Aehle say, "It's not something that people in south Georgia have seen before, but I think it will have a greater impression on those who are looking at re-locating business and creating new jobs."

The new terminal will include bathrooms in the secure area and wi-fi connection.

The current airport has neither.

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