Athens-Ben Epps Airport is a county-owned public use airport holding an FAA Part 139 Certification and aiming to promote aviation-related industry in Athens-Clarke County.

Message from the Airport Director 

I have had a great time meeting the airport tenants while going through the hangar inspection process. I was able to listen too many of you talk about how much you enjoy the airport newsletter and your ideas for future activities on the airport.


One of the questions that was discussed numerous times is, “will we ever see an airshow at the airport”? Well, the answer to that is yes. Not only airshows but other fun ideas that we would like to bring to the airport.

Prior to the pandemic, we had actually formed a committee to look at bringing various activities to the airport that would be fun for the community as a whole. We had come up with several ideas such as food truck Friday on a closed runway, movie night on a closed runway, and yes…even an airshow. As most know, I helped put on the Rome airshow when I was airport manager there. My last year there we were able to bring in the Blue Angels as a headliner. The airshow brought in over 100,000 people from around the world for the two-day event.


The Blue Angels and Thunderbirds require a large demonstration box to do their presentation and unfortunately our airport is too close in proximity to houses and businesses that would prevent them from coming. However, we are still able to have an airshow with a reduced aerobatic box that will allow other aerobatic aircraft, both civilian and military, to perform. We will also host numerous static displays of aircraft of all shapes and sizes, both military and civilian.


Although the COVID outbreak has put a delay in our plans for now, I feel confident that once things get back to some sort of normalcy, we will be looking to pick these plans back up and move forward with them. Please feel free to contact me with any ideas you may have that you think would be a good aviation related type activity to have at the airport.


Airport Operations 

Airport operations has been increasing slowly each month since COVID hit last year.  Operation numbers for the airport include takeoffs and landings and also include approaches. 


The operations count for January 2021 was 3,157, up from December’s count of 2,912.  The traffic count has been slowly increasing each month.  Prior to the pandemic, the operation numbers where in the 4,000 to 5,000 range.  I am hopeful that these numbers will come back by the end of this year.


Airport Personnel

We are thrilled to announce the promotion of Russ Parton to Airport Operations Supervisor. Russ has been a part of the airport’s team for over 24 years, bringing an array of knowledge and skills as an Operations Technician. 


Russ, from Winterville, Georgia brings vast experience in aviation. He previously served as an Airman in the U.S. Navy, attending Central Texas College, and also worked at the Augusta Regional Airport. As Airport Operations Supervisor, Russ will adopt a more operational standpoint regarding the airport’s FAA Part 139 Airport Certification and have an increased focus on the maintenance of runways and taxiways. In addition, Russ will also focus on creating an exceptional customer service experience for our patrons.


Please join us in congratulating Russ on his well-deserved promotion.  

Airport Project Update


The Localizer and Taxiway A, (west portion), projects, are still slated to begin soon. 

Additionally, the airport received some great news recently.  The FAA has announced that they will fund the remainder of our Taxiway A project which includes the portion from the center of the airport to the east. 


This project includes the addition of a parallel section of the taxiway that will connect Alpha 3, (A3), to the section of Alpha near Bravo 3, (B3).  This addition will provide a safer way to taxi to 9 and 27 and will also give us the ability to enlarge our ramp area in front of the general aviation terminal at a later date. 



Commercial Flights


The Air Service Development effort to bring passenger service back to Athens is still alive and kicking.  Although COVID has slowed things down a great deal for the commercial air service industry, there is no doubt that they will come back again with an appetite to grow the industry to the next level.  The airport continues to talk to the airlines in order to keep those doors open for when that day does come.


Check our website and Facebook page for more updates. 

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1010 Ben Epps Drive Athens, GA 30605 706-613-3420

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