In a press release on Wednesday, the Valdosta-Lowndes County Airport Authority welcomed AirLife Georgia, a subsidiary of Air Methods, Inc., to the Valdosta Airport. Air Methods has been specializing in air medical transport since 1980, with more than 300 bases of operation spanning from Alaska to Key West.
“We are very excited to have Air Methods join us at the Valdosta Airport; they bring a tremendous capability to our local area,” said Jim Galloway, Executive Director of the VLC-AA and Airport Manager at the Valdosta Regional Airport.
The Valdosta base will employ 21 people, consisting of helicopter pilots, trauma nurses, emergency medical technicians and a helicopter mechanic. The airport will also serve as base for AirLife Georgia's state of the art medical transport helicopter.
“If you need to receive specialized care somewhere else, now you don't have to wait for the helicopter to come from Atlanta, for example, to pick you up and then take you there,” said Galloway, elaborating at the Airport Authority's monthly meeting on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, May 15, Air Methods will hold a ribbon cutting for the AirLife Georgia Base 9 facilities at 11:15 a.m. It is open to the public.
In other business, the Authority discussed the new fire station at the airport. Work on the new station is ongoing, and the work on the access road will start this month. When the new fire station is completed in January/February 2014, the current fire station will be demolished, and then work will start on a new electrical vault in late spring or early summer.
“The new vault will add a back-up generator to our capabilities,” said Galloway. “If the power fails, then we will still have runway and emergency lights.”
The Authority also discussed:
•Enplanements for April were slightly down from April 2012.
•Air traffic for April was slightly down from March 2013.
•Two Authority memberships are opening up in the coming weeks: Nathaniel Hougabrook is seeking reappointment and Wayne Edwards, Vice-Chairman of the Airport Authority, has elected to not.
•There are five corporate hangers available for rent, and five T-hangers.
•At the Flying Club meeting held on April 18, 17 people attended.
The next meeting of the Airport Authority is June 12, 2013, at 8 a.m. at the Airport conference room. As with all Airport Authority meetings, it is open to the public.