Lanett Airport manager resigns

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2023

LANETT — Richard Carter has resigned from his position as manager of the Lanett Regional Airport to take a position with the Clayton County, Georgia Police Department.

“It’s a full-time position as a pilot,” Carter told The Valley Times-News, “It’s a dream job for me. I have always wanted to be a full-time pilot, and I will have such a position where I am going.”

Located just outside Atlanta, Clayton County has a population of approximately 300,000 people. Its countywide police department is located in the county seat of Jonesboro. Just outside police headquarters in a concrete pad where two helicopters are based. One of those helicopters is in the air most of the time.

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In November 2022, Carter was named Lanett’s first-ever airport manager. With a runway that’s more than a mile long and a million-dollar terminal nearby, Lanett Municipal Airport needs a full-time manager to guide the multimillion-dollar facility to its full potential. The landing space is there, but there are needs to sell jet fuel and places to base planes on the ground.

“I want to thank the City of Lanett for allowing me to take part in the startup operations of this airport,” Carter said. “We have made some significant progress over there this past year. I believe we are heading in the right direction, and we need to continue this. We have applied for grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to help us with this, and I am confident this will be approved.”

FAA grants typically cover 90 percent of the costs with state and local governments picking up the rest.

Carter encourages city officials to see the big picture when it comes to the airport. 

“We need a five-year plan and a ten-year plan spelling out specific goals that can be met in those time frames. We have started something from the ground up, and it will take time for the airport to meet its full potential. This will involve a team effort, and everyone needs to be on board. We have made a lot of progress with the airport, and we need to keep it going.”

Carter is a long-time Chambers County resident and is planning to remain here. “Clayton County is not that far away,” he said. “I intend to continue living in Chambers County and to commute back and forth to Jonesboro.”

He will remain in a part-time position until a new airport manager is named.

“I would like to help out in any way I can,” he said.

Before coming to the city to work, Carter had been a long-time deputy with the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office.