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Henry County unveils extended runway at airport

 

By Alex Welch
Assistant Editor 

  The Henry County Board of Commissioners (BOC) un-veiled the completion of Phase I of the Henry County Airport Runway Extension Project last week in Hampton. The four Henry County mayors, state Reps. Andy Welch and Phil Gingrey, representatives of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Georgia Center of Innovation for Aerospace Director Steve Justice were among the crowd on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

The Henry County Board of Commissioners end a ceremony for the Henry County Airport Runway Extension Project with a ribbon-cutting. The airport recently underwent construction to add thousands of feet in expansion.           Photo by Alex Welch

  The project, which began in February, added 1,000 feet to the existing runway, 1,000 feet to the adjacent taxiway, and widened the runway 25 feet overall. According to Ron Burckhalter, the airport’s manager, these additions now allow 95 percent of corporate-type planes to land in Henry County.

  “It’s going to allow us to bring more jets here. Jets were previously going to Peachtree City. With the wider and the longer runway, our hope is to start capturing that traffic,” Burckhalter said.

  District 2 Commissioner Brian Preston explained to the crowd how the project is a step towards opening new opportunities for businesses in the county. Preston said research has shown venture capitalists and business owners look for communities with easy accessibility.

  “I think it brings us closer to the rest of the world in a lot of aspects,” Preston said. “We’re also blessed being close to the busiest airport in the world. There’s nothing that says this couldn’t be an alternative for the private jets, the business owners, the NASCAR teams. The sky really is the limit on what we can do with this, and that’s the tremendous opportunity for Henry County.”

  The airport expansion cost $3,044,664.78, with Henry County paying five percent (163,105.78) of the cost. The FAA and GDOT funded the remaining $2,881,559.

 

 

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