GDOT funding may help provide hangars for LaGrange-Callaway Airport

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

During the Board of Commissioners work session on Tuesday, the county discussed a pair of potential projects for the LaGrange-Callaway Airport, including a long-planned hangar expansion.

Public Services Director Dexter Wells that he received communication from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) inquiring about potential important projects for Troup County, where the state would fund 75 percent and the county would fund the remaining 25 percent.

Wells suggested two projects at the LaGrange-Callaway Airport that would be assets to both the county and the airport.

The first suggested project is a preliminary investigation into the drainage system of the airport.

The drainage system at the airport is starting to see some failures due to age. The system was put in when the airport was built in 1942, over 80 years ago, Wells said.

Well said the investigation would run a robot with a camera through all the drainage and map it so that the county knows where all of the drains are located and show where the problems are.

“We can then come up with a plan at that point how to fix the drainage system and then apply for federal funds to do the repairs that are necessary,” Wells said.

Wells said the estimated cost of the project would be about $100,000 but noted the exact cost is uncertain and tried to guess on the high end.

The second proposed project is the construction of hangars at the airport.

Several years ago, the county paid for plans to build hangars at the airport, but the funding wasn’t available for the construction.

“Those plans are there. They’re shovel-ready,” Wells said.

“Since the county took the airport, there have been no funds available from the federal government to fund hangars, so this is an opportunity for us.”

Wells said the planned hangars would cost about $2.6 million. If the state funding is approved, GDOT would invest $1.9 million and the local match would be about $631,000.

“We had money put in SPLOST to build these hangers, so I think it’s important that we approve, if it’s your wish, to apply for this grant so that money can be best utilized,” Wells said to the commissioners.

Wells said there is a hangar shortage everywhere as aviation continues to grow.

The local airport maintains a waiting list of about 40 waiting for hangar space.

The county brings in about $50,000 to $60,000 per year in rent for hangars, which allows the airport to break even, Wells said.

“This will allow more money to be put back into the airport because there’s always a project that needs to be done at the airport,” Wells said.