Dec. 8—The three daily Delta Airlines flights to Atlanta from the Brunswick Golden Isles Airport are routinely overbooked and things are about to get worse.
Delta will cut down to two daily flights to Atlanta in January and February because of shortage of pilots, said Rob Burr, executive director of the Glynn County Airport Authority at Tuesday's Golden Isles Development Authority meeting.
"Delta is struggling to staff," he said. "We have strong demand, but the supply is not there. We need four flights a day."
Burr said the authority is trying to find other carriers to meet the demand for passenger flights from the airport.
"We're working hard on that," he said.
Burr updated board members about the authority's capital improvement program. Construction of the second and third phases of a $1.1 million calibration pad, plans to seal runway cracks paid through the authority's reserve fund with plans to seek federal funding, and the design of a new passenger boarding bridge are among the ongoing projects at the airport.
Other plans include a firefighting station that was to be funded with SPLOST revenue, an environmental study on the north end of the airport to increase capacity and a possible taxiway extension five years or more in the future.
A high-priority project is the purchase and installation of an automated weather observation service. The $182,000 system is needed to give pilots the most accurate weather forecast, Burr said.
Future plans at the St. Simons Airport include an $8.8 million rehabilitation of runway 4-22 and the design and construction of a $3 million hangar.
The meeting began with a Brunswick-Glynn Joint Water and Sewer Commission master plan update.
Bob Duncan, vice chair of the commission, said the master plan developed five years ago was "very aggressive" and based on incomplete information. Luckily, the projection for a population growth rate of 4.3% did not turn out to be accurate.
The new projection of 0.8% to 1.6% for the next 20 years is now the accepted estimate by the city, county and the JWSC.
"The good news is we have plenty of capacity," he said.
Andrew Burroughs, the commission's executive director, expressed confidence that consumers will not be hit with any significant rate increases because of the more accurate assessment of the system's condition and population growth.
"We did make substantial progress the last five years," he said. "We have all three governmental agencies pulling in the same direction."
If a large industrial customer came to the county, Burroughs said the system's capacity could be increased if needed.
"We have time to make improvements if a large industrial customer comes to the county," he said.
There will be some needed maintenance with pipe corrosion issues in areas and replacement of some electrical components at the end of their life spans.
The plan is to spend money where it will have the greatest impact through a risk score that allows an "unbiased comparison" of system problems.
"There will be minor tweaks here and there," he said. "We are open for business throughout Glynn County."
In early January, there will be an official kickoff to add nearly five miles of pipe throughout the Arco area with construction planned to begin in the first quarter of 2022 and take about nine months to complete.
Burroughs said it will cost $3,665 for a connection fee and meter, but there are some homes with failing septic systems that could cost up to $25,000 to replace.
"It's a lot cheaper to hook up," he said.
Ryan Moore, the development authority's president and CEO, asked to form a committee to explore selling mature timber from two industrial parks valued at about $300,000. The committee will determine how much timber to remove and how much to preserve.
"We don't want to clear cut," he said.
Authority members voted to build a spec building at the North Glynn Commerce Park on a smaller tract at the east end of the site instead of a large tract at the west end.
The trade off is the 30,000-square-foot building can only be expanded to a little more than double the size. A building at the west end could be expanded to 100,000 square feet, but there is no guarantee that a tenant moving into a 30,000-square-foot building would ever expand that much, if at all, Moore said.
Board members approved a survey of the east tract not to exceed $12,000.