Airport prepares for renovations, new manager

As Daniel Field prepares to change airport managers for the first time since 1997, officials are looking to other changes, too.

Willis M. "Buster" Boshears will retire in January. He leaves behind an airport that is planning to renovate its existing "lean-to" style hangar.

Bill Wood, the chairman for the general aviation commission, said the $2 million project will be funded with money from the latest special purpose local-option sales tax. He said construction could begin 60 to 90 days after they receive the money, which could come early through a bond package.

"Everything is going to be completely redone and everything is going to be brought up to code," Mr. Wood said. The building houses Augusta Aviation Inc. and provides offices and a lounge area for pilots and passengers between flights. The second floor is not accessible to handicapped patrons, an issue they hope to correct.

Mr. Boshears said other tasks include regular maintenance work. He cited a recent project to repaint markings on the runway.

The airport selected Edward Toney, the former Clayton County Airport-Tara Field manager outside Atlanta, to replace Mr. Boshears last month.

In a phone interview, Mr. Toney said he is looking forward to working again at an airport and for a local government. He retired from Tara Field in 2004 and ran a company called Traffic Data Services, which collected data of traffic patterns.

A pilot, Mr. Toney owns a Cessna 172. He said he worked in the Clayton County Transportation and Development Office as a civil engineer. He was assigned to manage Tara Field in 1999 and held the job five years.

He will begin as Daniel Field's airport manager Jan. 11.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.