MACON, Ga. — The Middle Georgia Regional Airport has some new upgrades planned, like a new two-story corporate terminal building that will hold conference rooms, restaurants, and gathering spaces. They are also planning on building a new air traffic tower.
Tuesday morning, they broke ground for their runway extension.
Megan Western was there to tell us more about this extension and all of its benefits.
The project has been in the works for four decades, and now it's finally taking flight. They expect 25 - 40 percent to be complete this year.
Now they'll have 600 more feet to bring back cargo carriers, and help new and current businesses
"We'll be able to track larger aircraft that requires the additional distance and aircraft that are currently using can use it without being penalized," says Doug Faour
The airport says it will make room for more commercial airlines to new destinations.
Mayor Lester Miller shares his excitement about the job opportunities.
"We look for good opportunities for our children to get good jobs here at the airport," says Miller.
Miller says kids have this opportunity to learn this trade through the Central Georgia Technical college, and the career academy.
Doug Faour says this will help more than Macon-Bibb.
"It is a benefit for the entire region and we're happy to be able to be that economic engine for all of us," says Faour
Dan Rhoades says the expansion also helps the Robins Air Force Base.
"That will hopefully expand the types of jobs we have at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, which will provide more opportunity for folks working at Robins Air Force Base in the future," says Rhoades.
He says those opportunities are in technology, software, and computer sciences.
"Everyone of those airplanes that is flying in is less about the airframes, and more about the software that brings them in, is really the most important part in the future," says Rhoades.
The construction will happen in two phases -- first, a retaining wall near the approach end of the runway, then, the actual extension work will begin immediately.
The extension should be completed in late 2024 or early 2025.
The Macon-Bibb Industrial Authority says businesses already plan to take advantage of the extension.
The BrightFarms company is building a huge greenhouse across Highway 247. They have already agreed to ship their fresh produce through the airport.