Highlighter Summer 2015

12 | Pond & Company Leading the Charge in Aviation Every community, regardless of size, relies upon small airports every day for providing vital services such as flight for life, disaster relief and search and rescue, drug enforcement, environmental patrol, and patient and physician transport to individuals, families, churches, hospitals, colleges, and businesses. The Georgia Department of Transportation – Aviation Programs (GDOT), which is tasked with assuring a safe, adequate and well maintained system of public-use airports across Georgia, released a Statewide Aviation Economic Impact Study in 2011 that quantified the economic benefit of the state’s airports at $62.6 billion in 2010, of which $1.3 billion is directly attributed to general aviation airports. General aviation is an important element of economic growth because it fulfills transportation needs which cannot otherwise be met. The Wrens Memorial Airport (Airport) is no exception. Located in Jefferson County approximately 32 miles southwest of Augusta, the airport is one of 104 publicly-owned, public-use airports – nine are commercial service airports and the remaining 95 airports are general aviation airports - in the State of Georgia. General aviation airports are the largest single group of airports in the U.S. system. Every ten to twelve years, GDOT updates their Georgia Aviation System Plan. This Plan identifies the developmental needs of Georgia airports in order to plan for the future aviation system. The Airport is considered a Level I General Aviation Airport, meaning it should be able to accommodate all single- engine and some twin-engine general aviation aircraft, helicopters (rotorcraft), balloons and gliders. Currently, the airport is used by the Wrens Memorial Airport Emergency Flight Service, Georgia State Law Enforcement, and flight instructors for “touch and go” operations (i.e. landing on a runway and taking off without coming to a full stop). The airport has one asphalt runway, Runway 11/29, which is 3,000 feet long by 50 feet wide with medium-intensity runway and taxiway lighting. Current landside facilities and services include a 5,000 square foot terminal and administrative building, with hangars and tie-down space available for 15 aircraft. Situated on 77 acres, the airport accommodates a variety of aviation related activities: recreational flying, agricultural spraying, ultra-lights (i.e. lightweight, 1 or 2 seat fixed-wing aircraft) and experimental aircraft (i.e. homebuilt aircraft). Pond & Company recently executed our five-year general services agreement contract with the City of Wrens (City), Georgia, to perform all engineering, planning and construction administration services for future projects at the Airport. The first order of business was to justify the improvements proposed by the City to GDOT. Pond prepared and forwarded a survey to aircraft owners in Jefferson County as well as surrounding counties requesting their interest in potential airport improvements that may increase interest in airport use by the flying public. The survey asked for general information about their aircraft, uses of their aircraft for travel, and what improvements would be needed at the airport to consider relocating their aircraft to the Wrens Memorial Airport. Based upon the results of the survey, the three top suggestions were: • Install security/perimeter fencing around the airport to help control unwanted pedestrian/vehicle traffic and wildlife access • Install self-serve fueling (AVGAS) for based and transient general aviation traffic • Construct additional hangar space to safely house an aircraft Will Lyon, PE ASHE Northeast Florida, Program Chair (ASHE Member since 2007) He’s learned that the best quality of a leader is to “inspire the people on the committees, learn to delegate and then be happy with the final product.” Someone may not perform a task the way he would, or complete it as quickly, but he has learned to appreciate that they are still getting it done. Will has been a member of ASHE since 2007, but this is his first leadership role with it. He hopes to do more for the organization in the futuvre, and is open to the idea of serving as president someday. “ The very first job I had was when I was 13, working for my neighbor’s lawn maintenance business. From age 16 I have had at least two jobs, at one point four, even during school for both my physics and engineering degree. ” LEADER POND P