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New airport terminal taking shape

The construction of a new, larger, and more inviting terminal building for the Donalsonville-Seminole County Municipal Airport is taking shape and moving right along. Weather permitting, construction should be complete and the new terminal open for business in late November.

The construction of a new terminal is the culmination of over two years of work by the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport Commission, county, city, chamber, and community leaders.

The goal of the new facility is to provide a welcoming visual and favorable first impression of Donalsonville and Seminole County to the flying public when they come to Donalsonville as
either an industry leader, a sportsman, or just for a visit. 

The new terminal building will be a brick structure of approximately 2600 square feet and will contain a conference room, office space, and a pilot’s lounge. This replaces the original 500 square foot terminal building that had reached the end of its service life. Construction of the new terminal building is being funded by the State of Georgia and the Federal Aviation Administration along with matching funds provided by the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport Commission at no cost to local taxpayers. 

The Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport, located just south of the Donalsonville City limits on Highway 39, is a valuable asset to the City of Donalsonville and Seminole County. The airport not only provides benefits for our corner of Georgia, but also to the surrounding area of Northwest Florida and Southeast Alabama. It is one of the many engines that helps drive the local economy. The Georgia Department of Transportation performed an Economic Impact Study of the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport to determine the economic effect the airport has on the surrounding area. The study shows there are 60 jobs created either directly or indirectly by the airport and related activities with a payroll of over $1,900,000 per year. The total economic activity created by the airport for our area is estimated to be $5,400,000 annually. This figure includes payroll, capital investment, and what visitors spend at local businesses when they land at our airport. This is money that goes directly into the local economy! 

To maintain and improve the airport, the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport Commission was created by a joint resolution by the Donalsonville City Council and the Seminole County Board of Commissioners in November of 1994. The Commission was created to facilitate the advancement and control of the airport to better serve the interests of the residents and taxpayers of Seminole County. The goal of the Commission is to continually improve the Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport using FAA entitlement moneys along with State matching funds that result in no cost to the taxpayers of Seminole County. The airport is one of only a few airports of this size to be financially self-sufficient and does not require taxpayer funds from the local government to meet the budgetary needs of the airport.

 There are currently 27 airplanes and several ultra-lite type aircraft based at the Donalsonville Airport. There are thousands of operations per year at our airport with aircraft taking off or landing at a steady pace every day, making it one of the busiest small airports in the state. On any given day and time, you can hear the sound of an agricultural aircraft in the air spraying crops for local farmers. Even the military uses the Donalsonville Airport for training purposes. Helicopters from Fort Rucker, Alabama and fixed wing aircraft from Hurlbert Field near Fort Walton Beach, Florida frequent our airport.  

The main runway and taxiway were extended by 330 feet to a total length of 5512 feet in 2019. This runway length opens the Donalsonville Airport to more business jet traffic since 5500 feet of runway is required by a large number of business jets to operate safely. The runway extension was funded by the State of Georgia as part of an additional $25,000,000 that was allocated to Georgia airports by Governor Deal in the 2018 state budget for airports. The Donalsonville-Seminole County Airport was one of only 11 airports in the state that received money from this allocation.  

Additional items planned in the future are the construction of more hanger space, a fuel farm replacement, expanding the ramp area, and resurfacing the main runway and taxiways. There are also plans to rehabilitate and open the east/west runway that has been closed for several years when funds become available. 

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