Barnwell County Council and the Barnwell Regional Airport Commission got together last week to share ideas and a meal.
Airport Commissioner P.F. Beck and other board members put the meeting together to help open the lines of communication between them and county council. They also wanted to give council members a glimpse into what goes on at the airport.
Beck said just a few days before, Dabo Swinney, head football coach for Clemson University, flew into the airport to meet with a local student, Taylor Hearn from Williston-Elko High.
Beck said this kind of flight is very common for the general aviation airport.
"Over the years, I've seen numerous govenors, senators, representatives...A lot of them are extremely weathly," Beck said.
Because of that traffic, the commissioners work hard to keep the airport well maintained, he said.
Built in the 1942, 1943 time frame, the airport has undergone many transformations over the years.
General aviation airports around the state range from extremely active like Barnwell's to "essentially abandonded," Beck said.
Recreation, businesses, medivac flights and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division regularly use the airport facilities. The military also uses a back runway from time to time to conduct training exercises, he said.
In the last 10 years, Beck said the main runway was dug up and rebuilt in 2004, the taxiway and the ramp area were also remodeled.
Another T-hanger was also built but it was all done without county taxpayer money. It was all done with grants, Beck said.
The grants in the last 10 years have totaled $4.8 million dollars, he said.
Beck said they have several projects currently in the works as well, one of which is a "animal control" fence.
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