- By Kelly Yamanouchi The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Gov. Nathan Deal announced $25 million in increased funding for small airports around the state, most of them in rural Georgia.
The funding is for improvements and expansions at 11 airports, including airports in Newnan and Coweta counties in metro Atlanta as well as nine airports in rural parts of the state.
The governor said the airport improvements will also “relieve pressure” on metro Atlanta regional airports handling increased volumes.
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The improvements include runway extensions to 5,000 feet or more, enabling corporate aircraft to take off and land at smaller airports. Deal called that a way to spur economic growth.
The airports in rural areas that will benefit from the increased funding are in Burke, Colquitt, Cook, Macon, Morgan, Polk, Seminole, Washington and Wilkes counties. Many towns and cities in those counties don’t have direct access to interstates, according to Deal.
“If we really want to improve the economic future of rural Georgia, this is one of the best ways possible to do so, because it will allow business leaders to come to their communities and see all that they have to offer,” Deal said in prepared remarks at a Georgia Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday at the Georgia World Congress Center.
“Companies often evaluate a community’s local aviation capabilities when considering new locations and expansions,” according to Deal, who added that “the longer the runway, the bigger the corporate jets and the greater the possibilities for our rural citizens.
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