ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Southwest Georgia transportation leaders are battling the crime of human trafficking.
This comes after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp introduced legislation to toughen penalties for sex traffickers.
There have been no known reports of human trafficking at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.
Once leaders sign the pledge, hopefully, they will be prepared to stop it if it happens.
It’s not the largest or busiest airport but Southwest Georgia Regional gets its share of flyers, and every one of them is potentially at risk for a different kind of traffic.
The Moultrie Fire Department received some potentially life-saving new equipment.“We haven’t’ seen anything here, nothing has been brought to our attention about human trafficking,” said David Hamilton, transportation director.
Hamilton said that though the aviation commission doesn’t have it on record doesn’t mean human trafficking hasn’t happened.
“We do want to get out in front of it. We want to be proactive in this situation and hopefully, we can prevent something from happening here,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton presented a pledge from the Department of Transportation. They aim to educate, recognize and raise awareness on human trafficking.
“Human trafficking is a problem all across the united states and we are not immune to it. So I think it’s very important that we get on board,” said Hamilton.
Especially with the growth of the airport.
“We have runway projects, improved parking, we’ve got new general aviation terminals in design. When you are increasing traffic, obviously there is more opportunity or more of a chance for people to do human trafficking," explained Hamilton.
The board decided unanimously to sign the pledge, hoping to prevent the worst.
“In this instance, it may save somebody’s life,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton said he’ll be sending the signed pledge back to the Georgia Department of Transportation. They’ll wait for further direction from them on training and learning opportunities.
The highly anticipated passenger boarding bridge for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is en route.
The project has been in the works for over a year.
Project leaders said the bridge will come into Albany Tuesday night and personnel will look at how to stage it Wednesday morning. And on Thursday, they will start putting it all together.
“They’ve got about a two-week window to get it to put together and all set up, get the inside functioning and running. Then we’ve got two days scheduled for them to kind of do a punch list on it to check it out. Then get with your staff on the training, get it fired up and be out of here by the eighteenth,” said Coy Porter, the corporate secretary of Kellerman Construction Incorporated.
People will actually be able to use the passenger boarding bridge on Feb. 18.
The airport plans to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the bridge.