Visitors soon will have an unobstructed view of the new terminal if a plan approved by the Augusta Aviation Commission goes into effect.
At their meeting Thursday, commissioners approved a more than $402,000 project to raze the 44-year-old hotel, which sits directly in front of the new terminal construction. The project also will include the demolition of a former bank building that sits on the property.
The plan does not take into account funding for the construction of a new short-term parking area or pedestrian canopy that officials said could be built in place of the hotel.
Airport Director Buster Boshears said the commission is not sure what will go on the property, but additional parking is the obvious choice.
The project must go before the Augusta Commission to be approved, and if so, it could begin after May, according to project consultant Matt McCoy.
Also at the meeting, commissioners went into a closed session to discuss a renewed federal lawsuit by seven local taxi-cab companies alleging collusion and antitrust violations by Augusta Radio Cab Co., according to Todd Boudreaux, the trial counsel with the city's law firm.
Mr. Boudreaux said the case is, for the most part, a "carbon copy" of the original case filed in June, in which the companies alleged that city officials allowed Augusta Radio Cab Co. to maintain a monopoly on service at Augusta Regional Airport.
The plaintiffs originally had filed the case in state court, but voluntarily dismissed the case in August.
In the first case, the defense had claimed the anti-trust allegation should have been filed in federal, not state, court.
The Aviation Commission voted to open airport contracts to any cab service June 29, and although the new lawsuit acknowledges this, it also said the companies have chosen not to take part in the program, Mr. Boudreaux said.
Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hotel and bank demolition project will go before the commission for approval. An auction, including furniture and electronics from the hotel, will be held at 10 a.m. May 3 at Augusta Regional Airport.