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Valdosta Regional Airport receives over $3M for upgrades, moves forward with new control tower

Federal funding will modernize Valdosta Regional Airport
Posted at 5:01 PM, Jul 09, 2024
  • Valdosta Regional Airport's tower, standing since 1949, will get a $3 million upgrade from federal funding.
  • The airport's new projects include a new control tower, a general aviation terminal, and an aircraft parking area.
  • Watch the video to hear from Valdosta Regional Airport's frequent fliers about these upgrade potential.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT

Valdosta Regional Airport's tower has been standing since 1949.

"The Valdosta Airport's got a lot of potential."

$3 million in federal funding will give the tower and other infrastructure a facelift.

I'm Malia Thomas, your neighborhood reporter in Valdosta, and I'm taking at the economic impact this will have on the Azalea City.

Bill Clapp has lived in Valdosta for over 30 years and has been running his own aviation business here for 14 years.

"It's Azalea Aviation, and we produce aircraft kits and work with helping people build craft."

He stores his planes at a hangar in the Valdosta Airport and frequent flies out there.

It was one of those flights where he ended up crashing right here at the General Aviation terminal.

"Just doing a test flight for some R&D stuff I was working on, and we had an engine failure. I walked away with just a small injury on my wrist and a couple of bumps and bruises, but that's it. So, I'm very, very thankful."

Still, he has four other aircraft at the airport and tells me he can't wait to see all the upgrades they'll make for flyers like him in the future.

"It'll bring a lot of jobs...there's a lot of growth potential out here. There's a lot more to this airport could do as far as flight training and flight schools maintenance training."

The airport is undergoing several upgrades:

-a new air traffic control tower

-a new terminal for general aviation

-and a new parking area for aircraft

The Federal Aviation Administration has awarded our airport over $3.6 million in grants in the last year.

Chuck Miller, Valdosta Airport's new manager, tells me he's excited for the growth and jobs these projects will bring in.

"The airport belongs to the people of Valdosta and the surrounding community, and so any anytime they have an opportunity to come here and do things, that it's to their benefit."

The money is part of a $5 billion grant program to modernize airport terminals. In Valdosta, I'm Malia Thomas, reporting for ABC27.