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Runway, hangar road in works for airport

The Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport will be getting a facelift of sorts between now and the next Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta.

News of the major improvements was made public during the Thomson City Council meeting last Thursday night.

Phil Eberly, a representative of WK Dickson Engineering, Inc., informed city officials that funding recently was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration. Included in the capital improvement plan is a new runway overlay, as well as a new hangar access road.

Mr. Eberly's firm will be responsible for the engineering work on those two projects -- both of which are slated for completion by April 2010.

"This is very good news for your airport," Mr. Eberly told Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry and council members.

Mayor Usry echoed the engineer's sentiments, saying, "Yes, this is great news."

The joint projects will cost more than $1 million.

The mayor sought and received approval from council members to have Administrator Don Powers execute contracts with the engineering firm for work to proceed on both airport projects.

Mr. Eberly explained that the local airport has received $150,000 from the FAA's general aviation fund for the past seven years. Those funds have been used to make several improvements at the airport.

The new overlay project will expand the runway distance from 5,200 feet to 5,500 feet. The expansion will allow larger aircraft to fly in and out of Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport.

"You're good to go, now that the funding is in place," Mr. Eberly said. "You're all teed up."

Web posted on Thursday, September 17, 2009

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