Early voting for the November general election starts Monday. One part of the new SPLOST could go towards a project that could add hundreds of jobs at the Middle Georgia Regional Airport in south Bibb County. 13WMAZ got a look at this future project.
Erick D'Leon, the airport manager, says part of the upcoming Macon-Bibb County SPLOST would pay to extend the runway at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
“It gives us the ability to add almost anything that’s flying out there now a day,” says D’Leon. He says a longer runway means larger planes can take off and land. That means more planes could get serviced there, and it could mean commercial flights in the future.
“Having that extra bit of runway, is just going to make us look all that more attractive to these carriers,” says D’Leon. He says after construction, the runway that is now 6,501 feet will be extended 1,500 feet.
“It seriously could create hundreds of jobs,” says the Vice President of Macon Economic Development Commission Pat Topping. He says one plane-service company has already expressed interest in moving to the airport after the runway is extended. He said he could not name the company.
“It will give us an opportunity to attract companies that service wide body planes,” says Topping. More wide body planes could mean more business for companies already at the airport.
Henry Lowe of Lowe Aviation says his company could fuel the larger planes.
“We'd be able to hire more people and expand,” says Lowe. A $25- to 30-million project, that D'Leon says will quickly pay itself off.
“With that additional runway, how many more businesses we could bring here and put people to work. How many more destinations could we get?” says D’Leon.
D'Leon says the extension project should be completed in the next five years.
Mary Grace Shaw, 13WMAZ