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Augusta Regional Airport to write new master plan

Sunday, June 9, 2013 5:04 PM
Last updated Monday, June 10, 2013 2:05 AM
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More aircraft parking, an industrial park and even a hotel could be in the future for Augusta Regional Air­port.

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The commercial terminal, which opened in 2007, was part of the 2002 master plan at Augusta Regional Airport.   JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
The commercial terminal, which opened in 2007, was part of the 2002 master plan at Augusta Regional Airport.

On the heels of years of massive expansion, airport officials and members of the Au­gus­ta Aviation Com­mis­sion have started working on ideas for the next steps of development.

Preliminary work is underway to create a new master plan for the airport, only the second such plan in its history. Once approved to begin the study by the Federal Aviation Adminis­tra­tion, studies, analysis and public information meetings could take 18 months before a final report is prepared.

The airport, originally a World War II-era flight training airfield, completed its first master plan in 2002. More than $50 million has been invested since 2005 to replace old buildings with modern facilities.

A new commercial airline terminal opened in 2007 and a general aviation terminal opened last year. The main runway also was rebuilt and parking lots were expanded.

Augusta Regional recorded an all-time high for passenger numbers in 2012, with more than 550,000 passengers. After 15 years of falling passenger numbers, they have grown 102 percent since 2006.

Aviation Commissioner Cedric John­son said a forecast of future passenger growth needs to be done before determining future needs.

“If we’re going to expand, we need to have a plan in place so we have a strategy of where to place buildings and parking lots,” Johnson said. “We are not even close to our potential passenger numbers.”

Aviation commission chairman Douglas Lively said the airport needs to maintain U.S. Airways service to Washing­ton and work to get new nonstop routes, possibly to Texas and Florida.

The airport will also turn its focus to economic development. For years, airport officials have wanted to develop unused land into an industrial park for aviation-related manufacturers.

The idea got a jump-start this year with the completion of Gen. Perry Smith Parkway, a half-mile divided highway from Doug Barnard Parkway to a 200-acre vacant plot on the southeastern portion of the airport property.

The airport needs to focus on attracting companies to the park, Lively said.

“That is the single biggest thing I want us to strive and drive toward, as a contributor to Augusta’s economy other than people flying in,” he said.

In addition to an industrial park, Commissioner Frank Bow­man would like to see a hotel with conference rooms at the airport. Expanding aircraft parking ramps and adding more nonstop flights are also on his radar.

“I wish we could get that Dallas flight back again,” Bowman said. Dallas-based American Eagle ended its flights into Augusta Regional in January 2012.

Creating a recreation space on airport grounds is another idea for the future, Lively said. He’d like to see a park outside of the airport’s secure area where residents can watch aircraft departing and landing.

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countyman
21607
Points
countyman 06/09/13 - 06:01 pm
3
3
Progressive Augusta

All great ideas.. The articles in relation to building up the economy of South Augusta don't get many comments. I love hearing the General Perry Smith Parkway is completed, and the focus is on attracting development to the Augusta Regional Industrial Park.

I remember when many people said the airport would never grow, and now it's by far the third largest in the state. The airports in Greenville, Greensboro, Knoxville, Savannah, Columbia, Charleston, etc are more at their peak compared to Augusta. This is great information to know, because you can sell the potential of the airport. 1 million passengers before 2020 could be accomplished.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 06/09/13 - 06:59 pm
2
2
All this does...

Is add to the number of people that leave the outlying communities to come to work in ARC. Did you not see the daily census report?

countyman
21607
Points
countyman 06/09/13 - 07:57 pm
3
3
Daily spin cycle!!!!1

The new airlines, hotel, conference center, companies, etc would increased the population, tax base, etc in Richmond County.

I don't see the connection between the census daytime population of Richmond County, and new airlines... Unless somebody meant attracting new jobs will raise the daytime population. Which still doesn't make any sense in relation to the comment, because the residents of Augusta work in Richmond County.

The funny thing is someone wants to portray the jobs in Richmond County will only help out the citizens in other counties.. Then had the nerve to bring up the census daytime populations, but didn't even read the entire stats outside of the Augusta Chronicle..

78% of the citizens in Richmond live and work in the same county. Compared that to the 35% in Columbia and 70% in Aiken..
http://www.census.gov/hhes/commuting/data/acs2006_2010.html

The better question is did you read the report, because you can see how MUCH the CSRA depends on the city of Augusta. Maybe the same few people would appreciate the positive things instead of the daily pessimism.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 06/09/13 - 08:09 pm
3
3
Maybe you would see the point that a lot of people...

only come to ARC cause that's where they work and a host of ARC residents don't shop here because of the TPSPLOST. That's not spin that's fact. Stick to what you know...the CBD and fast food joints.

countyman
21607
Points
countyman 06/09/13 - 08:18 pm
2
3
Keep moving forward

TSPLOT is for the entire region, and not solely Richmond County...

I'll let you believe people only come to ARC due to employment. The shopping, entertainment, dining, etc must be irrelevant.

GnipGnop
12744
Points
GnipGnop 06/09/13 - 08:27 pm
3
3
Thats not what I said

I said a lot of people. That explains the daily census into ARC. Doesn't matter what TSPLOST covers. People have posted on here that not only them but others do not shop in ARC because of the TSPLOST. They save their tax money and also fill up with gas that is at least 10 cents cheaper.

countyman
21607
Points
countyman 06/09/13 - 09:36 pm
4
2
Augusta is the hub of CSRA

The number of jobs in Richmond County, and Augusta being the main city in the metro/CSRA explains the daily commute into the city. Where is the competition? The city of Aiken can offer some industry, and Plant Vogtle is located in Burke County. The amount of industry in Richmond County is on a whole different level. There's a good number of jobs in West Augusta, but Augusta is consolidated with the majority of Richmond County.

The daytime populations of Atlanta, Savannah, Columbus, Macon, Athens, etc all rise... The only city to vote for TSPLOST was Columbus among them, and I don't understand how TSPLOST is even related to the article. TSPLOST is for the entire region, and not only Augusta.

GnipGnop
12744
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GnipGnop 06/09/13 - 10:00 pm
5
2
It is related because of your never ending spiel

On how great thou art in Augusta which is simply not true. Does Augusta have wonderful things? Of course. What they also have is a good ole boy crooked government and a unfair property tax where certain groups of residents subsidize the downtown area with no benefit to themselves. Consolidation was a lie and continues to be so. Take a poll. Ask south augusta tax payers if they are better off or worse since consolidation. The only thing better is the downtown area because they were spending money like drunken sailors. The difference now is since they ran out of their money they invited the south side onto the ship so they could take their money and spend it....

nocnoc
49121
Points
nocnoc 06/10/13 - 06:22 am
3
0
Aviation Commission Chairman

Aviation Commission Chairman Doug Lively and few others have some good business growth ideas concerning the Airports future.

Hopefully Downtown can see that logical business plan adjustments, after 60+ years, should be implemented.

(No! Fred Russell we don't need another tax to do it.)

BTW: More direct flights into any surrounding International / Major Hub Airport would help kick start passenger usage even more.

itsanotherday1
48146
Points
itsanotherday1 06/10/13 - 06:40 am
2
1
If fares were more

If fares were more competitive, the airport could grow even more than projected. Most of the time, it is worth our while to drive to Atlanta. If it is $100 or more difference per ticket, I will drive to save the $200 for the wife and myself.

seenitB4
96821
Points
seenitB4 06/10/13 - 07:00 am
4
0
Well now

Mr Lively has some good ideas.....nice for south Augusta.....big hotel & park at the airport....I'm with ya brother.....
My Dad would take us (kids) to watch the planes come/go at Bush Field in years gone by.....he loved planes & was in the Atrmy Air Force.....we would visit the Lock/Dam too......great memories & really great plans Mr Doug Lively........just get a straight shot to Destin Fla. :):):)

soapy_725
44049
Points
soapy_725 06/10/13 - 11:21 am
0
0
Air travel in and out of Bush Field.....
Unpublished

is greatly affected, as is all of ARC, by the required patronage of Fort Gordon and the military industrial complex at large.

Take away the mandatory usage of Bush Field by the military and you would have another Daniel Field.

Corporate planned and funded itineraries provide the second level of semi mandatory passengers.

If you fly on "your own dime" you do not Fly Here, Fly There from the ARC of No Covenant.

oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 06/10/13 - 07:05 pm
1
0
Airport
Unpublished

Here is a plan, not a master plan, figure out how to fly in and out of Augusta without having to fly over the sewage plant. Figure out how to get flights to other small airports direct. Figure out how to make Augusta someplace to fly to other than during Masters week. Clearing the crime and tobacco smoke out of town would go a long way to that. Start at the Airport sidewalk, you can not walk out without a butt head blowing smoke or try to panhandle you.

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