“Our consultants — the LPA Group — have just gone through this thing with the new airport in Paulding County,” Airport Manager Robert Mohl said.
He said the consultants, in conjunction with the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, would guide the county through the process of relocating the airport.
This process involves applying for grants and earmarks. Mohl said if the FAA approves the plan, it will look favorably on funding it.
“There is no reason that the FAA and GDOT would approve a project and not fund it,” he said.
He said the local match would be 2.5 to 5 percent and the state and federal government would shoulder 95 percent of the cost. In the case of the proposed airport, they would provide $56 million while the local match would be $2.9 million.
He said the city and county still have to apply for the grants and the various studies the two entities are conducting are required.
“The Georgia DOT and FAA has said to the city, county and airport advisory board that we will support the relocation of the Griffin-Spalding County Airport subject to the city and county completing a feasibility study, environmental assessment and acquisition of the property on which the relocated airport would be constructed,” said Crystal Paulk-Buchanan, media projects manager for the Georgia Department of Transportation, in an e-mail interview.
“Our financial support of the airport would be contingent upon annual appropriations from Congress and the state Legislature for the state and federal share of the project,” Paulk-Buchanan said.
She said ordinarily the local community would pay 2.5 percent of the cost for the new airport, the state 2.5 percent and the federal government 95 percent. The federal commitment, however, depends on there being available funding.
Spalding County Board of Commissioners member Bob Gilreath expressed concerns about the reliability of state and federal funding at a meeting discussing the airport earlier in the month.
“The gentleman giving the presentation used the word ‘assumed’ when he said he assumed the money would be available from federal, state and FAA,” Gilreath said in an e-mail interview. “Of course it is hoped that the money will be available for this project. If it isn’t, then what?”