Calhoun’s Tom B. David Airport is in the midst of a new expansion and has partnered with an air taxi service that operates the largest fleet of on-demand Cirrus aircraft.
The facility, also known as the Calhoun-Gordon County Airport, will begin offering regional flights to hundreds of cities across the Southeast, thanks to a partnership with ImagineAir, a leading on-demand air taxi service.
“As is, the airport adds variety to our community’s economic base through local manufacturing industries. An opportunity exists to expand upon the existing operations of the airport to further support local tourism, law enforcement, medical transportation and further manufacturing needs,” said Calhoun City Councilman David Hammond.
According to a press release, the new partnership with ImagineAir will give residents of Gordon County and surrounding areas quick, convenient and affordable access to cities across the Southeast.
“We are partnering with Calhoun Airport to provide access to those in the community that might not otherwise even consider using their local airport as a travel gateway,” said Lynda Jo Norred, Vice President of Business Development at ImagineAir. “Most travelers are surprised to learn that more than 80 percent of the population in the U.S. either lives or works within a 15 minute drive of a public use airport.”
Tom B. David Airport ranks seventh in the state of Georgia in the number of planes based at the airport, with 108. The airport, located off of U.S. Highway 41 South in Calhoun, has seen major improvements since the late 1990’s, which has included two runway extensions, extending the runway to its current 6000 feet and the addition of a new terminal.
A new primary project of the airport being developed is a new, parallel taxiway from the terminal area to the north runway end. The Federal Aviation Administration and Georgia Department of Transportation are supporting the project given the based aircraft and activity level of the airport. The project will provide safer operations, eliminating the need to back taxi on the runway. The project also allows for the inclusion of additional space for hangar development along the new taxiway. This will provide new opportunities for larger corporate hangars and allow the airport space to double the based aircraft capacity over the next 20 years.
“As high paying and high technology employers seek future building sites in the Southeast, they will be searching for communities with existing aviation infrastructure to support the needs of their companies and their people,” said Hammond.
“Calhoun/Gordon County is already strategically located within the state and we have begun reaping the benefits; a strong aviation facility can only strengthen the business case for these companies and groups to choose our community as their new home.”
Projects at the airport have been executed by The Lead Edge Design Group, an engineering and planning firm specializing in airport project design and construction. Lead Edge has been involved in over 500 airport projects at over 50 airports and has won the Georgia Airports Project of the Year Award multiple times. Phil Eberly, President of Lead Edge, has been involved in the projects at Tom B. David Airport since the late 90s.
“The success of the Calhoun Gordon County Airport is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with passionate, sustained local leadership,” said Eberly. “The Airport Authority, supported each step of the way by the city and county, has worked extremely hard to take advantage of every opportunity to put the airport in a better position year after year.”
“The new parallel taxiway project is incredibly positive in that it improves safety while increasing economic impact through the creation of the additional hanger area,” said Eberly.
“An economic impact study conducted by GDOT listed the Calhoun-Gordon County Airport as having over $10 million per year in economic output,” said Eberly. “The new taxiway project provides increased hangar areas that could easily push that into the $20 to $25 million range in the next 10 to 15 years. You can’t say enough about the vision and hard work invested to take the modest facility that existed 20 years ago, and now be ranked seventh in the state in based aircraft. Most of the airports ranked higher are out of room to expand, while the Calhoun-Gordon County Airport continues to provide opportunity by being creative and efficient.”
Eberly is satisfied with the development of Tom B. David Airport. “When we are approached by communities seeking to improve their airports and want development philosophies, we always reference the Calhoun Gordon County Airport as the right way to do it.”