From local businesses such as Duotech using the Macon County Airport for day-today business operation, to citizens chartering private flights to other regional airports, to organizations such as the State Bureau of Investigation and Forest Service using it for training, the local airport proves to be an invaluable resource for the citizens of Macon County.
To better inform the public of the airport’s role in the community, the Macon County Airport Authority will be holding an open house on August 15 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will feature music from Curtis Blackwell, and refreshments for the public.
“We want to show people how nice the airport is and give them an opportunity to have people come out and get familiar with the Macon County Airport and the FBO (Fixed Base Operators),” said Richard Rhodes, member of the Airport Authority.
The airports FBO, Franklin Aviation, is responsible for aircraft services such as passenger handling, aircraft fueling, parking, and maintenance.
Commissioner Jim Tate, who serves as liaison to the airport, asked commissioners to consider allocating $3,000 to the airport to help with the open house. The board unanimously voted to award the funds and believes the open house is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about what the airport offers the community.
“The airport is an important part of the infrastructure of Macon County,” said Commission Chair Kevin Corbin. “Most citizens may not personally use the airport, but many individuals use the airport for recreational flying as well as many businesses that employ hundreds of Macon County Citizens use the airport on a daily basis.”
Touting the economic importance of the airport, Corbin noted that some of the county’s largest employers rely on the airport to conduct the business that allows them to be housed in Macon County. “Duotech, Drake Software, Old Edwards Inn, and Harrah’s Resort are just four examples of businesses that employ hundreds of Macon County citizens,” said Corbin. “These businesses use the Macon County Airport as an important part of their daily business dealings.”
In addition to the local businesses who utilize the airport, the facility is often used by local organizations for required trainings to be able to serve the region. On Tuesday, the State Bureau of Investigation was using the facilities to conduct training as was the Forest Service. According to Bobby Mashburn with the Forest Service, fire rescue crews were training with new equipment and breaking in new service members. The refresher trainings originated at the airport and included flights over Lake Emory via helicopter to collect water that would be used in the event of a fire.
“I am excited for the open house and the opportunity that the Airport Authority has to show all our citizens the Airport facilities,” said Corbin. “I would encourage everyone to drop in for a few minutes to see the updated facilities and the view the newly extended runway and taxiway.”