As of Monday, May 20, 2013
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Albany’s new airport terminal, seen here during its early days of construction, is set to open for passengers July 10.
ALBANY, Ga. — The next three days will be big ones in the final stages of construction of the new terminal at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.
Airport Director Yvette Aehle told the Aviation Commission at its monthly meeting Monday that subcontractors will gather at the construction site starting today to begin inspections and working on an extensive punch list that must be completed before the facility is granted a certificate of occupancy.
Aehle said airport officials are shooting to get the CO by June 2.
“Our plan is to hold a simple dedication ceremony on June 26,” Aehle told the board. “July 10 is the first day the terminal will be used by passengers. We’ll be here all night July 9 changing things over.”
The airport director told commissioners she’d had no luck in attracting a permanent food/concessions vendor for the new terminal.
“This is like deja vu; we faced the same problem when I was a member of this board in the ‘80s,” board member and former Albany Mayor Willie Adams said. “It’s all related to traffic flow. Until the numbers go up, it’s just not going to work.”
Aehle said she’d like to have at least a temporary vending area in place when the terminal opens so that space designed for a permanent vendor is not vacant. She was directed by the board to look into a number of possibilities by the next Aviation Commission meeting June 17.
The board also authorized airport staff to accept Federal Aviation Administration grants that will allow for the quickest construction of a Remote Communications Air-to-Ground Building. It also approved a $330,770.40 low bid by Kellerman Construction of Valdosta to build that structure. Ninety percent of the project will be funded by the FAA, while the airport’s matching 10 percent contribution will come from special-purpose local-option sales tax funds.