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Airport board anticipates air show
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Although the Joint Management Board which runs MidCoast Regional Airport at Wright Army Airfield has plenty of projects on its plate, Thursday its members seemed caught up in the excitement of the air show coming up June 14-15.
One member who remarked that nearby Vidalia had an air show was quickly informed that next weekend's event will be a world-class air show, not comparable to the one in Vidalia.
Airport Business Solutions's air show impresario, Bobbi Thompson, said the acts lined up for the Salute the Troops show compared favorably with any multi-aircraft show to be found anywhere in the world.
The 101st Airborne Division's parachute demonstration team will represent the Army; Fort Stewart is partnering in the show. Parking will be on the post's Donovan Field, with shuttle buses for transportation to the spectator areas at the airport.
"An air show has something for everyone," Thompson said, "It's an afternoon of fun for the whole family." See the website for more information.
Col. Todd Buchs, garrison commander who serves as a co-chair of the airport's Joint Management Board, said he asked the military side for "a full court press on making sure everyone knows about the air show. I think this huge marketing effort is what is needed to put this new airport on the map."
Fort Stewart's Air Force contingent, the 15th Air Support Operations Squadron, is monitoring the weather for the big weekend and forecasts clear days June 14-15.
In other business, the board members discussed their plan to extend a runway to accommodate larger and more heavily loaded planes and provide a gentler angle for takeoffs and landings.
Buchs said, "I think the extension is critical; that's going to allow this airport to grow."
"I don't think it's in the 'too hard' box, we just need to decide how to get it done."
When a visiting VIP lands at Hunter AAF because of its longer runways, it costs the Army $5,000 for Black Hawk helicopter transportation to and from Stewart.
"And that's if a Black Hawk is available," said Ed Foerstel, acting director of plans, training, mobilization and security.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said $2.5 million was in the state Department of Transportation budget, although it was not yet known when the money would become available.
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