Officials considering expanding Perry – Houston County Airport

0
PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Officials in Houston County are planning to expand one of their assets they say is a selling point for the area.

The Perry-Houston County Airport brings in major dollars – and Perry’s Mayor Jimmy Faircloth says the goal is to keep the money coming. 

Don’t let quiet skies fool you…The Perry-Houston County Airport is packed.
Not with people….but with planes. 
Private owners rent out these hangar spaces, that can cost up to $175 per month. 
"We’ve had a waiting list for hangar space for years," Faircloth said. 
Faircloth, along with Houston County commissioners, and the airport’s authority want to build another hangar. 
There’s almost 50 people on the waiting list to rent a space.
The problem…building a hangar isn’t cheap. 
"The last time they built one it was somewhere around $700,000," Faircloth said. 
With the expansion of another hangar here at Perry – Houston County Airport, Mayor Faircloth says the expansion could keep this airport competitive with others in middle Georgia. 
Funding for the project is split half-and-half between the city of Perry and the county. 
"What we want to build is a forth one. We have three 14 bay nested T-hangars and we would like to build a fourth one," Billy Jerles, the airport authority chair, said. 
Officials are meeting with contractors to estimate the cost of the project — Faircloth worries the funds just aren’t there. 
"In order to do that, we’re going to have to figure out someway of augmenting that construction process. So we had a meeting to do just that," Faircloth said. 
The mayor adds general funding from the city wouldn’t be enough to build. 
The eventual goal is for the airport to run on its own without help from the local governments.
"We would hope that the newer tenants would purchase fuel from the airport authority helping us to attain our goal of being self-sufficient."
Until then — it’s a waiting game for officials anxious to see the finished product. 

Airport Authority Chair Billy Jerles says once he receives an estimate from contractors, he’ll bring the number to both Perry city council and Houston’s Board of Commissioners to figure out how they’ll find money to pay for the project.