The West Georgia Regional Airport is currently working to obtain grant funding for a project that will remove a large hill from the northern portion of the airport’s runway. The project, which the Federal Aviation Administration refers to as a Northwest Apron, will remove 161,000 square yards of dirt from the north end of the runway.
“Basically, they want to remove all the dirt from the northern end of our runway and flatten it so that it’s safer for our pilots to make their approach,” said Airport Manager Susan Heath. “They plan to move the dirt from the north end to the south, where there is a drop off.”
The WGRA is seeking grant funding for the project through the FAA and is currently accepting bids from contractors. Heath said the local airport has been working to secure funding for the project for more than a decade.
“It’s been something we’ve been working on for more than 10 years,” said Heath. “We don’t receive any taxpayer funding, so it’s hard for us to come up with enough money for a project of this scale.”
Heath noted that there is no timetable as to when the WGRA will know if the grant funding is approved.
The project would create a much safer runway for pilots. Heath said the large hill on the northern end of the airport’s runway is an obstacle that can be dangerous in some cases.
“When pilots make their descent toward our north end, they have to keep their plane above a certain percentage so that they can avoid the hill and land safely.”
The WGRA was built in the 1970s and is listed by the FAA as having 10,000 planes land each year. Heath says the WGRA currently has 112 based aircraft.
“We really hope everything goes through and we can move forward with this project,” said Heath.
To find out more about the WGRA, visit their website here.