COVINGTON, Ga. - The Covington Airport is officially ready for takeoff, as Saturday marked the reopening of its runway after the completion of a runway extension and widening project.
The runway was widened from 75 feet to 100 feet and extended 500 feet.
"The intent is not to attract larger aircraft but to invest in our infrastructure," Airport Manager John King said.
The total project, which was 75% state-funded, totalled $3,045,939.55 and only cost the city $761,373.38. King said the city will see an immediate return on that investment through pilot and passenger safety.
"You cannot put a price on that," he said.
The airport will also see an increase in fuel sales because of the project.
"Aircraft will be able to take on more fuel because of the longer runway," he said.
King said the airport's next project will be the installation of taxiway light, MALSR Approach Lighting System and LED PAPI Approach (glide slope) lights.
"This approach lighting system will greatly enhance life safety at the airport," he said.
Covington Airport Runway projectLance Flynn takes off in his Cessna 414 Saturday as one of the first planes to use the new Covington Municipal Airport runway.
Reopening the runway with this extension and widening project complete helps give Covington and Newton County the upper hand when it comes to new business recruitment.
"Often, companies that are searching for new opportunities to relocate/startup look to see if there is an airport nearby," King said. "Covington/ Newton County will have an advantage when it comes to recruiting companies to relocate/startup in our community. The Chamber's Economic Development team does a great job promoting the airport to potential projects."
David Bernd, vice president of Covington/Newton County Economic Development, agreed and said the airport is a "critical economic engine for our entire region" and will give his office the ability to "recruit higher-end industries and jobs."
"KCVC’s new terminal and the newly expanded runway will be a significant generator of economic development for all of east metro Atlanta, for decades to come," he said.
Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said the project will have a "tremendous" impact on the city.
“As we continue to position ourselves for economic growth, having a runway wide enough to handle corporate jets is a necessity," Covington Mayor Ronnie Johnston said. "We have a first-class airport already, but the impact this widening project will have on future economic development expansions and new projects will be tremendous.”