Business at the Mid-Coast Regional Airport is taking off.
The number of planes based at the airport has increased from 29 in 2020 to nearly 48 in 2023, Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown said.
“We did complete the new hangar build, and it’s all filled up,” he told county commissioners recently.
T hangars under construction were full before they were finished, Brown said.
“And we have a T hangar waiting list that if we had the funds to build another, they would be full too,” he said.
The airport has added tie-downs for aircraft to accommodate its growing business.
Fuel sales at the airport have jumped from $180,678 in 2020 to nearly $407,000 in 2022.
“It’s an economic multiplier that is working well,” Brown said of the airport.
The airport also is adding Savannah Aviation, a flight training school with six aircraft and 26 students. Savannah Aviation also provides charter service, Brown added.
“We’re pretty excited about them,” he said.
Several companies have approached the county and the development authority about after-market aircraft retrofit activities and plans are being drawn up for a lease expansion.
The county also is starting to work on another road into the airport that would be a direct access, rather than going through the Fort Stewart gate near the airfield. The access road was part of the original joint use agreement.
Environmental impact money was approved last year and that study is complete, Brown said. The study has been sent to the Army for its review.
Several other projects are underway or in the process to start, Brown told commissioners. Plans are being done to improve Islands Highway, and that project is approximately 18 months out from being open to bids.
The county has conducted a pre-bid meeting for its Lewis Frasier water line project and bids are going out for the second phase of Gill Park.
Brown said the county will ask for federal help for its share of the U.S. 84 bypass in Walthourville. The county will be responsible for utility relocations.
That project is scheduled to be let for construction in July.
There are nearly 20 county construction projects in either design or planning, bidding or underway, including the Liberty County fire station headquarters, Miller Park renovation, new EMS station on Highway 17 and the Sam Harris gym at the East End Complex, with special purpose local option sales tax proceeds footing the bills.
“They are growth and service demand projects,” Brown said. “None of them are frivolous.”