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Athens-Ben Epps Airport to Get More Parking, Passenger Air Service in the next two years

Athens-Clarke County Government

Athenians may again be flying out of Ben Epps Airport within the next two years.

At this week’s agenda setting meeting, Mayor Kelly Girtz provided commissioners with an update on Athens-Ben Epps Airport. He said that passenger air lines are again considering servicing the Athens area within the next two years, but that more parking spaces for customers would be necessary to make the expansion work. The airport has been without passenger service for about a decade.

“This is the airport capital improvement, this is a parking lot. Airport staff had some great engagement with some airlines at the annual airline engagement conference. And among the things the airlines noted is that they would need a greater bulk of parking dedicated to consistent air service,” he said.

Little discussion was necessary to put the project concept on the agenda, suggesting that it will likely pass at the Commission’s regular meeting next month.

County Manager Blaine Williams added that the airport puts little strain on the county’s finances and is primarily self-funded through airplane hangar rentals.

“The airport has weaned itself off of general fund support, and from an operating standpoint is able to generate its own fees, so those land leases and those hangars are a way to further that,” he said.

The parking lot expansion will cost about $200,000 to complete.

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