Officials held a ground breaking ceremony on a new terminal building at the Enterprise Municipal Airport Monday morning, the latest in a series of expansion projects at the facility.
Barry Mott, Vice President and client service leader for Barge Design Solutions, said the new terminal is an eight-month project.
“So we’ll have this done this year,” said Mott, who also is the consulting engineer for the airport to the city. “We’ll have a new terminal sitting here and we’re working on some other projects around the airport as well, with the FAA and the city.”
Mott said a new general aviation ramp has just been completed, with a concrete section for parking because “a heavier aircraft does better on concrete than it does on asphalt.” The non-parking area is new asphalt.
“The reason we’re doing all this is the airport’s experienced great growth over the last several years. We’ve got some very large planes,” Mott said. “We’re going to build the terminal building that abuts the new ramp here.”
Jonathan Tullos, Executive Director of the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation, said an Airport Improvement Plan is being executed.
“We’ve got multiple iterations, like five years out, for what we’re trying to do here,” Tullos said.
Mott added there is a lot of privation general aviation traffic at the airport.
“There are no plans to go to what they call 139 traffic — which would be commercial service,” Mott said. “ No plans for that, but just to take care of the aircraft we have. We have a lot of G4s, G5s that fly into the airport now.
“The state was good enough to bring $250,000 of state grant. It was a 50-50 grant up to $250,000 for the terminal building. The project is just less than $1 million. The city is footing the bill for everything over $250,000. The ramp, of course, has been funded with FAA funds — which is 90 percent federal, 5 percent state and 5 percent local match.”
Mott said runway expansion likely would come after the terminal building project is completed.
“One of the things we’re working on is a runway extension project,” he said. “Currently the runway’s at 5,100 feet and the FAA is justified to take it to 6,000 feet. So we’re working on runway extension, which will be the next project behind this one.”
Enterprise Interim Director of Engineering Staci Hayes and Mayor Bill Cooper both recognized and thanked Dr. John Eagerton and Frank Farmer from the Alabama Department of Transportation for their role in getting the grant and their support of the project.
The mayor also thanked the City Council and Mott, “who worked with us tirelessly,” he added.
“This will be a financial gain for us,” Cooper said of the terminal. “Of course, we hope there will be more to come. This is just Phase I, as we call it. I thank Staci for her leadership. We’re going to see something new here in the City of Enterprise.”