County leaders are hoping new upgrades to the Perry-Houston County Airport help the Georgia State Patrol become more efficient.
Airport personnel are trying to make their facility soar to new heights.
“It’s been a collective effort and you can see what’s happened. It’s obviously successful,” Patsy Goff, the airport’s manager, says.
She took over eight years ago and since then says the airport has grown tremendously.
“Three rows of hangars that host 48 aircraft already. Then we’ve got open T-hangars, corporate hangars, maintenance hangars, an old Georgia State Patrol hangar on the north side,” Goff listed off. “We’ve got a hangar that houses AgAir Update which is the only crop dusting newspaper in the world. We’re growing by leaps and bounds every single year.”
In the coming months, there will be another “leap.” Plans are to move an outdated, but active, state patrol hangar to a new state-of-the-art building.
“We’re wanting to speed up response times and the direction we’re heading is going to allow us to do that,” Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Hamilton Halford says.
He says he and a handful of other personnel have outgrown the old space and are looking forward to moving to the 125-square foot structure. He’s hoping to eventually bring on more staff, aircraft, and a maintenance area to create what he calls a “one-stop shop” for state patrol aviation in the region.
“I think you’ll see a reduction in our response times, you’ll see an increase in our finds, and it’ll be a win-win situation for everyone in the state,” Halford says.
The country partnered with its three incorporated cities and the state patrol to make the more that $1 million project happen. Goff says it’s a step to help her neighborhood and she’s hoping for a smooth landing.
“We’re helping the community and I love it. I love this community. I love being part of it. I love this airport and I’m proud of everything,” Goff says.
There are also plans to build an additional hangar that’ll house 14 small planes to cut down on the airport’s waiting list. Goff says the goal is to complete the project in the next 6-8 months.