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'We fly several airplanes for other folks': Macon business reflects on airport changes as county plans to hire airport director

Henry Lowe with Lowe Aviation says there's always been an airport director. It just depends on who writes their paycheck.

MACON, Ga. — Looking for a job? Do you have experience with planes? Macon-Bibb will soon be hiring.

County commissioners Tuesday approved a plan to hire an airport director. It's a change from how things have worked the past few years, but one airport business owner says it shouldn't change much about his family business.

A family business since 1946. That's how Henry Lowe describes his family's hangars at the airport.

"We charter aircraft and fly people places, and we, over the years, have bought and sold airplanes, brokered airplanes, do aircraft management; we fly several airplanes for other folks," Lowe said.

Think of Lowe Aviation like a marina, except it's not at Lake Tobesofkee or the coast. It's at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, and Henry Lowe runs it all.

"Any kind of service that they need, that's what we do. Nonstop, since 1946, open seven days a week, 365 days a year," Lowe said.

He's been at the helm since 1973, and he's seen a lot of changes.

"The Macon airport had Delta and Eastern airlines," he said. "The outlying areas didn't do as well, so Delta and Eastern pulled out."

Now, Contour serves Central Georgia. Lowe says that's how things work here: they change. That includes airport directors.

"There's always been an airport director here. There's an airport manager no matter who's paying the bill," Lowe said.

Thursday, commissioners advanced a plan to hire an airport director. Right now, the county uses TBI to manage the airport. This plan would put the director on the county's payroll. The county is budgeting about $200,000 for the position, including salary and benefits. Lowe says whoever they choose will have a lot to do.

"The airport manager is required to maintain all of the things of an airport that has scheduled airlines come in," Lowe said.

For the Lowes and their buzzing family business, it doesn't change much at all. They'll continue their mission, helping folks take to the sky, 'Seven days a week,' for years to come.

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