A landmark of Decatur County is the Decatur County Industrial Air Park. Originally the Bainbridge Army Airfield, it has since been converted into the small bustling airport it is today, servicing unlikely customers and bringing business to Bainbridge.
“Because we work hard at customer service, we provide a clean airport, provide clean restrooms, these people come in and see that,” Tommy Johnson, the airport’s manager said in an interview. “And these people are coming from all over the world. And most of these people are big CEOs, and people like that.”
And not just CEOs, but Hollywood actors and politicians also pass through the Bainbridge airport. “We mainly do a lot of private business, but in that private business is the charter companies. We do a lot of charter companies, because thank God for the hunting plantations around us. I can never say enough good things about those people, because they really bring a lot of business to Decatur County,” Johnson said. He elaborated, “We sell the jet fuel, Enterprise rents cars, and our pilots come in, we help them get a car. And then they go and stay at a local motel. And they may be here three or four days, so they eat at different restaurants… We’ve had wives come down with their husbands to do hunting, but instead they end up downtown, shopping.”
According to Johnson, business is only increasing too. January of last year saw 227 planes pass through the airport, while January of this year saw 287. In March of last year, 105 planes had passed through by the 16th; as of the writing of this article on this March 16, 165 planes have passed through the airport.
He thanked the County Commissioners for help with things like the planned fuel farm, saying, “My main goal is to improve the airport, to where we bring more business into Decatur County. And I’m very fortunate that the commissioners, and Alan Thomas, and the staff up there at the commissioner’s office, help us and support us.”