Renovated Daniel Field airport terminal to be named for Boshears family

Tuesday, March 6, 2012 6:00 PM
Last updated Wednesday, March 7, 2012 1:21 AM
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Buster Boshears thinks his father and uncle would be squirming if they knew the Daniel Field airport terminal was being named after their family.

Buster Boshears stands in front of the newly renovated terminal at Daniel Field airport. The facility will be renamed Boshears Terminal in honor of the family's contributions to aviation in the Augusta area.  JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Buster Boshears stands in front of the newly renovated terminal at Daniel Field airport. The facility will be renamed Boshears Terminal in honor of the family's contributions to aviation in the Augusta area.

“It’s a pretty neat honor, but I think they would both be a little embarrassed,” he said.

The newly renovated terminal at Daniel Field will be dedicated and renamed Boshears Terminal this morning after two years of construction.

Boshears’ father, Willis “Buster” Boshears, and uncle Forrest Boshears were early champions for Augusta aviation starting in the 1930s. After World War II, the airport benefited from soldiers enrolling in flight school under the G.I. Bill. Flying became a more popular means of transportation, Boshears said, and his father and uncle knew it was invaluable for Augusta to have a city airport.

“Both of them were participants early in aviation, when it first started taking off,” he said. “As aviation grew, they were a part of it.”

Forrest and Buster Sr. have been inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame, and Augusta Aviation Commission member Bill Welsh said it’s only fitting that the terminal be named for the family.

“There is no one who deserves it more than this family,” Welsh said.

Welsh has done considerable research on the history of aviation in Augusta, and he said the Boshears family’s passion for flying kept Augusta on the crest of the wave as flight became more popular.

“The whole Boshears family is prominent in the aviation world, and it’s because of them that we even have Daniel Field,” he said.

The terminal renovation was on the special purpose local option sales tax VI ballot and broke ground in January 2010. The project cost $1.7 million and was completed last month.

“This was a huge need,” said Becky Shealy, the vice president of business development for Augusta Aviation.

The renovation is a significant cosmetic improvement, Shealy said, making the terminal a more inviting place for travelers.

The last renovation was in the 1970s, she said, and the building was not up to code for fire safety or security. The terminal now boasts an elevator and finished second floor, which is empty but available for office space. Construction included removing asbestos and curbs; replacing a spiral staircase with an elevator; putting new finishing on the floors; and adding a large, open room with two balconies for large crowds, events and a lounge area for pilots.

Shealy said the airport generates revenue for the city through its customers, who pay ad valorem taxes and fuel sales tax. According to the city’s Web site, the airport brings in several hundred thousand dollars in taxes each year and employs about 50 people.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Dedication ceremony for Boshears Terminal featuring Mayor Deke Copenhaver and U.S. District Court Judge Dudley Bowen

WHEN: 10:30 a.m. today

WHERE: Daniel Field airport

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TrulyWorried
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TrulyWorried 03/06/12 - 07:54 pm
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How wonderful!!

How wonderful!!

Sceptic
4
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Sceptic 03/11/12 - 11:42 am
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It should be the taxpayers
Unpublished

It should be the taxpayers who are squirming! It was their $1.7 million that was spent on a facility used primarily by a privately-owned business.
It's unfortunate that this reporter was hoodwinked by the carefully-crafted propaganda served up by the vice president of business development. I strongly suspect that a fair and unbiased analysis of Daniel Field finances would show that those alleged revenues are miniscule when compared to the true cost of maintaining the downtown airport and, in effect, providing a taxpayer subsidy to a privately-owned monopoly.
Perhaps the Chronicle could, in a future article, examine both sides of the balance sheet. I suspect that a full and complete disclosure will show a private businessman laughing all the way to the bank while the taxpayer is left holding the bag.

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