Airport plan to get update
City manager says runway rehab on track

COVINGTON - The City Council approved an update to the airport layout plan for the Covington Municipal Airport at its Feb. 16 meeting.

The plan is necessary if the city is to obtain future funding from the Federal Aviation Administration, City Manager Steve Horton said.

The plan shows existing and proposed land and facilities necessary for operation and development of the airport.

"When it comes down to seeking funding from the FFA, they want to know everything you've got and what the possibilities are," Horton said. "Also, it shows realistically the investment the city has made to date out there."

The plan has not been updated since the late '90s and since that time the airport has expanded by more than 160 acres.

The update to the airport layout plan will be performed by PBS&J at a cost of $105,000, with the federal government funding $99,750, and the state and city splitting the remaining cost at $2,625 each.

The mayor and council have expressed interest in relocating the main entrance of the airport and opening a new terminal off Ga. Highway 142, near Nisshinbo, which would put it closer to the interstate, Horton said.

But "the economy as it is may slow us up," Horton said.

However, it looks like it's a go for a rehabilitation project that would improve 4,200 feet of runway and taxiway. If money allows, the apron will also be rehabilitated and the current fuel farm will be moved to the far eastern side of the tarmac.

The Department of Transportation has already given the go ahead for the city to bid out the project, which will cost an estimated $3 million. The city of Covington will be responsible for $192,000.

"None of this changes the classification of the airport and doesn't allow anything larger to take off from there," he said.

Horton said there are currently no development plans pending by outside developers.

"Prior to the economy taking a nosedive, I received several calls per month from different people with aircrafts of all sizes wanting to do all kind of developments that sounded good, including manufacturing companies related to aviation. But it's been kind of quiet lately," he said.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.