Plans moving forward on new airport taxiway
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Federal and state funding has been tentatively identified for a new taxiway at the Newnan-Coweta County Airport at Whitlock Field.
At Tuesday’s Coweta County Board of Commissioners meeting, the commissioners voted to provide matching funds of approximately $189,285 for the project. Federal and state funds are expected to total $3.15 million.
“At present, there is one entryway to our east side,” said Airport Manager Calvin Walker. “This is a project we’ve pursued for probably three-plus years, to try to alleviate planes stacking up.”
Traffic at the airport south of Newnan and near Moreland off U.S. Highway 29 has increased significantly in the past several years.
“A few short years ago, we’d go a week without seeing a soul,” Walker said. “At last count, we had 65,000 operations a year.”
Aviation fuel has a shelf life of about six months. “We used to actually worry if the fuel was going to go bad before we sold it,” Walker said. Last month, they sold five loads, he said.
“We believe this is a pretty important safety project,” said Dale Pepper, chairman of the Newnan-Coweta Airport Authority. A lot of companies and new businesses are coming in.
The new taxiway will make it much easier for planes to get in and out when the airport is busy.
In other meeting business:
• Tod Handley, county director of transportation and engineering, and Chris Edmondson of transportation consulting firm Clough-Harbour and Associates gave an update on the Newnan Bypass Extension project.
There will not be a traffic light where the bypass extension intersects with Ga. Hwy. 16, at least not when the road first opens, Edmondson said. The Georgia Department of Transportation said that a signal is not warranted yet, so there will only be a stop sign.
Commissioners expressed concern about the safety of that. “A lot of big trucks go through there,” said Commissioner Tim Lassetter.
There will be advance warning signs, and its projected that a traffic signal will be warranted in three to five years. When GDOT approves the signal, “we can implement that relatively quickly,” Edmondson said.