Project Wing

Published 11:00 am Saturday, May 25, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Troup County Development Authority (TCDA) called a special meeting with the Troup County Public Facilities Authority (TCPF) to discuss a business opportunity for the LaGrange-Callaway Airport. 

Troy Anderson, the Airport Director, gave an informational presentation for the development of an aviation-related industrial campus with construction of a new hanger or hangers. The TCDA and the airport have come to a rough agreement on this proposal, but the TCPF would also need to provide oversight on the final agreement. 

The venture would have a private company, Project Wing, lease land and buy gasoline from the airport and in exchange build and operate the business out of airplane hangars at the airport. The proposed location is 678 Aerotron Parkway. 

Anderson could not give detail on the company but did say, “They do seem to bring an awful lot of industry from the Aviation perspective to the county, and with that a number of buildings, and a number of the potential employees in the next three to five years.”

The initial plan would have the company build facilities up to 240,000 square feet over five years. While the construction contracts are still being negotiated, Anderson presented a multi-phase plan for the building process. 

  • Phase I – Building a 50,000-square-foot facility with an expansion to 70,000 square feet, with the estimated cost of $15 million to $17 million.
  • Phase IA – Building a hanger or hangers from 12,000 square feet to 36,000 square feet, with an estimated cost of $2.6 million to $6 million. 
  • Phase II – Building a 50,000 square foot warehouse also with an expansion to 70,000, with an estimated cost of $4 million to $5 million. 
  • Phase III – Building a 100,000 square foot facility, with an estimated cost of $12 million to $13 million. 

Project Wing would support the costs of all phases. The city of LaGrange and the County would pledge limited resources to support utility connection and rough grading at the hangers for Phase IA. 

Project Wing would purchase 15 to 17 acres of property next to the airport. After five years the company intends to request a land swap of this acreage for the land that would host the facilities of Phase I, II and III. 

Anderson said the company aims to buy the land, but would rent it for at least five years where the airport would be getting revenue. He adds that the money from leasing is not the only benefit. Having more aviation industry in Troup County encourages economic growth, employment opportunities and tax revenue, he argues. The business could also encourage complimentary industries, also involving aviation to do business in the county. 

Finally, he said tourism would increase, with more space for private plane owners to store their plans. Anderson said the GDOT reported the state had a shortage of hanger space for these types of smaller aircrafts, incentivizing LaGrange-Callaway should they build these hangers.

The company can lease the airport property anywhere from five to 25 years with extensions, if it wishes to remain at the site. It can also sub-lease hangar space to private owners of airplanes.

The facilities are expected to employ 250 to 350 people, with average salary ranging from $50,000 to $70,000 a year. Anderson said the goal is to have a partnership with West Georgia Technical College to establish apprenticeship, classes and work study programs on the site.