Flying high: Lanett Municipal Airport celebrates official launch

Published 9:00 am Friday, August 11, 2023

The Greater Valley Area Chamber of Commerce and elected officials celebrated the Lanett Municipal Airport with its official ribbon cutting on Thursday. 

“This is a great day for not only the city of Lanett but also our county,” said GVACC Executive Director Carrie Wood. “This is a huge step in the right direction for growth. We’re looking forward to moving forward.”

The airport, which had an open house in March, has been an ongoing project for many years in Lanett. Lanett Mayor Jamie Heard thanked many elected officials, including former Mayor Kyle McCoy, Representative Debbie Wood, Senator Randy Price and other officials. 

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“This is a great day for the city of Lanett. As we all know, we have been looking forward to this day for a long time,” Heard said during the meeting. 

Many who spoke also thanked the FAA and ALDOT for their role in bringing the airport to life. Chambers County Development Authority Deputy Director Chris Busby said the turnout was great with representatives from the offices of Congressman Mike Rogers, Senator Katie Britt and former Senator Richard Shelby. 

“The congressional delegation of Congressman Rogers and Senator Shelby were massively instrumental in funding this over the years,” Busby said. 

According to Alabama Department of Transportation Aeronautics Bureau Chief Frank Farmer, Alabama airports make up $4.9 billion of the total economic impact annually. The airports support over 44,000 jobs and have a total annual payroll of $1.9 billion.

Busby said not only does the airport enhances economic growth and recruitment by providing businesses with direct access to the area, but it also opens the opportunity for diversifying its economic base. 

With the addition of the airport, there is more opportunity to recruit aerospace projects and industry into the area. 

“It opens us up to a new sector that we’ve never been able to tap into before,” Busby said.

There have been several ribbon cuttings in the Greater Valley Area in the last few weeks. Businesses have opened or made the move to the area. 

“When I look at ribbon cuttings, I see growth,” Wood said.