Floyd County public works crews will be contracted to do a significant amount of work on a couple of federally funded projects at Richard B. Russell Regional Airport.
“This is kind of new territory for the state,” Airport Manager Mike Mathews told the Airport Commission on Tuesday afternoon. “This is kind of like a test project.”
Mathews said large federally financed projects that flow through the Georgia Department of Transportation’s aviation division are typically engineered by consultants then bid out for construction.
But the work done by Floyd County Public Works for the Georgia Northwestern Technical College aviation facility convinced state and federal authorities to let in-house crews handle the removal of trees which could potentially obstruct the runways.
Mathews said that project is expected to cost approximately $45,000.
The other project is a relatively simple fill-and-grade project at the south end of the main runway.
The safety project is designed to extend the graded area at the end of the runway from 600 feet to 1,000 feet. The grading project is projected to cost approximately $350,000.
“It benefits us, it benefits Public Works and I’m just real excited.” Mathews said.
GDOT has not formally released the grant funds for the projects but Mathews is hopeful that both can get underway soon.
Four months into the calendar year, Russell Regional is showing revenue in excess of expenses totaling $71,623. More than half of that — $40,655 — was achieved during the month of April alone.
Mathews said the airport is making a concerted effort to market fuel sales to jet aircraft operators. He reported that multi-tiered pricing for fuel also is making the Rome airport more competitive with other airports across the region.
“I think we can do another thousand gallons a week (of sales),” Mathews said.
During the month of April the airport sold almost 9,500 gallons of Jet A fuel, compared to a little more than 5,300 gallons of AVGAS — which is used by twin- or single-engine aircraft.
Mathews also reported that the airport would host the Budweiser blimp June 10-11. Mathews did not say where the blimp was ultimately destined following its overnight stay in Rome.