Friday, May 18, 2018

Valdosta Regional Airport (KVLD) Authority welcomes new member

VALDOSTA — Hap Ertlschweiger served for the last time Wednesday as a member of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Airport Authority.

A former fighter jet and airline pilot, Ertlschweiger has served on the authority for four years. Taking his place will be George Page.

Page is the executive director of the Valdosta-Lowndes County Parks and Recreation Authority.

Ertlschweiger retired five years ago. Leaving the authority will relieve him of another set of responsibilities, he said. With his newfound free time, Ertlschweiger said he plans to spend time with family and soak up some sun on the beach.

He said if the authority needs his advice, the authority is more than welcome to call him.

Page spoke highly of the airport and referred to it as a “jewel."

“We are very blessed to have such a wonderful airport in our community,” he said.

Page said he looks forward to contributing his expertise to the authority and help make it an even better asset in the community.

Meanwhile, plans to purchase the land contiguous to the airport have hit a small snag.

The State Historic Preservation Office has asked the authority to perform an environmental study on the property because of an existing structure that has cabinets considered to be historical, Airport Manager Jim Galloway said.

The environmental study pushes the authority’s plans back by about a year; however, Galloway is pursuing alternate options to try and expedite the process, he said.

Originally, Galloway told property owners the land transaction may not happen until October, he said. He is still trying to find a way to honor that claim so as to not cause any more burden on the property holder.

The airport is trying to purchase the land to remove trees to improve the airport safety rating.

Galloway said there is no update on the new air traffic control tower. The authority will know if the project will move forward after May 22.

The project is dependent on the passage of the Transportation Local Options Sales Tax that is on the ballot Tuesday.

The airport authority meets 8 a.m., the second Wednesday of every month in the airport manager’s office. The meetings are open to the public. 

Original article ➤

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