Officials considering expanding Perry – Houston County Airport

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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. 

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.