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County administrator: Airport opening Nov. 5
JD wrightboard
(L-r): Jack Dibrell, Ed Foerstel, Paul Andreshak and David Wyrick stand in front of the nearly finished Midcoast Regional Airport terminal, and discuss the construction of the new airport. - photo by Photo by John Deike

The long-awaited opening of the joint-use civil-military airport at Wright Army Airfield has been scheduled for Nov. 5.

Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown announced the date during a meeting of the airport’s joint management board Thursday.

Referring to the numerous delays the project has suffered, Brown noted the opening would be “before 3007.”
“We were told when we started this process that these types of joint-use projects normally take four to five years to develop,” Brown said in 2002, a remark that may turn out to be remarkably accurate.
Ground was broken for the new shared facility in 2005.
The joint management board for the shared airport is chaired by Hinesville Mayor Tom Ratcliffe, and the members are Liberty County Development Authority Chairman Allen Brown, Liberty County Commission Chairman John McIver, the Fort Stewart garrison commander and the heads of the directorates of public works and logistics on post.
The prospect of joint use of Wright Army Airfield had been talked about, on the civilian side, for about five to six years, Project Manager James Thomas said.
Thomas is now an announced candidate for the mayorship of Hinesville.
“The city of Hinesville and the county facilitated the development of the joint-use agreement,” he said. “They got things going through the political process faster than normal.”

During Thursday’s meeting, reports were received on the imminent arrival of the furniture for the civilian terminal, paving of the runways, taxiways and apron and other final preparations.
The official Notice to Airmen that the old Liberty County Airport has been replaced by the new joint facility can be given within 72 hours of the “flipover.”

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