Terminal bids being reviewed

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Airport officials say nine bids on a new airport terminal are currently being reviewed by an architectural firm with a letter of recommendation expected by the Nov. 15 Aviation commission meeting.

The Southwest Georgia Regional Airport is on the cusp of a major revitalization that will include improvements to the airport's apron, road, parking lot and curbs. The crown jewel of the project will be a new airport terminal which will be designed to bring the airport in line with Homeland Security guidelines and promote future growth, Director Yvette Aehle said.

Airport officials opened the bids Wednesday for the terminal which will ultimately replace the current terminal which has occupied that space off Newton Road since 1959.

"We have nine bids being evaluated by the LPA Group, our architect," Aehle said. "They'll provide a letter of recommendation to the aviation commission, we hope on the Nov. 15 meeting."

The Federal Aviation Administration has pledged $6.6 million towards all three phases of the project, with the city required to pay $3.9 million as a match. Those funds will come from the recently approved special local option sales tax or SPLOST 6.

Aehle said the improvements will put the airport in a better position to grow as the global economy tries to pull itself out of a fierce recession.

Albany already has the second-largest cargo airport in the state and with more fair-weather days than most airports in the country, is seeing its passenger load rebound. The more full flights the airport gets, the more likely it becomes that ASA will add flights or that another airline will consider Albany as a destination.