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Masters Week airport reservation system going online

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Private aircraft landing at four Augusta area airports during Masters Week 2014 will use a new online reservation system.

Augusta Regional, Daniel Field, Thomson-McDuffie Regional and Aiken Municipal airports have asked a consultant to tweak the reservation system that underwent a major overhaul for this year’s tournament. Mike Gunn, of Wexford Consultant Group, will help the airports book aircraft parking using an automated software system, largely replacing phone calls.

“Now, they will be able to do it on the Internet through a secured Web site,” Gunn said.

The software will help avoid double bookings and no-shows of private jets and planes, Gunn told the Augusta Aviation Commission on Thursday.

A reservation system was implemented for the 2013 Masters to help spread out aircraft to all the regional airports. For several years, heavy air traffic at Augusta Regional Airport caused the Federal Aviation Administration to issue ground stops, or prohibitions on landing and taking off. Private aircraft were diverted to nearby general aviation airports.

Although Gunn was not ready to discuss full details of the new program, he said after the meeting that customers can receive a reservation confirmation via text message and e-mail. Reservations can still be made by phone or walk-in at the airports where staff can use the reservation software, he said.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, the commission began a 12-to 16-month process of writing a new master plan for the airport that will be led by consulting firm Mead & Hunt.

The master plan, the airport’s first since 2002, will lay out long-term physical development for new buildings, said Mark McFarland, of Mead & Hunt. A committee will meet several times in the next year to help tie the improvement plan to the airport’s strategic goals for growth.


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