Airport renamed to honor Whitlock
By ALEX MCRAE
The Newnan-Coweta County Airport was renamed Wednesday to honor Newnan native Capt. Nicholas Whitlock, who died in February while serving in the U.S. Air Force when the plane he was piloting crashed in Djibouti, Africa, returning from a special operations mission in Afghanistan.
The local airfield is now officially known as Newnan-Coweta County Airport, Whitlock Field, after the change was approved by members of the Newnan-Coweta County Airport Authority. The name change was made in part in response to a letter dated Sept. 21, 2012, from Coweta County Board of Commissioners Chairman Rodney Brooks. Brooks indicated in the letter that it was the commissioners’ hope that their support for renaming the airport “is a small effort not only to recognize the ultimate sacrifice made by Captain Whitlock and his family but also to recognize all those who learned to fly here and died too young.”
Authority members agreed that new signage would be erected to reflect the name change and that a plaque honoring Nicholas Whitlock would be placed at the entrance to the airport’s terminal facility. If a new terminal is built in the future, the plaque honoring would be moved to a place of honor at the new facility.
In other business, the authority approved refinancing of two existing loans at a new and lower fixed rate. One loan is for tax-exempt spending, which can be financed at a lower rate. The other loan is not for tax exempt expenses.
The tax exempt loan balance of $376,700 was refinanced at a rate of 2.77 percent. The non tax exempt loan totaling $448,000 was refinanced at 4.05 percent. Both are 15-year fixed rate loans.
Authority chairman Dale Pepper said the refinancing would carry a payment of $5,877 per month, which is a reduction of almost $1,800 per month from the existing amount being paid.
The authority also approved a draft of the airport’s four-year capital improvement program. The plan will be voted on once it has been checked by airport authority attorney Nathan Lee.