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IDA committee to probe possibility of an Effingham County airport

RINCON — The concept of an Effingham County airport is a long way from getting off the ground. It’s on the runway of discussion, however.

Prior to Thursday’s meeting of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority (IDA), the IDA’s Aviation Committee met for the first time. The committee, which includes Swaid Rahn,  Lon Harden and Eric Johnson, was formed in May.

“The IDA has formed an Aviation Committee to study the possibility of a ‘feeder’ airport in Effingham,” IDA CEO Brandt Herndon said Friday. 

The airport discussion is extremely preliminary. No funds have been allocated to examine the feasibility of a local airport.

Herndon predicted that it could take up to 10 years to get a runway built in Effingham County. It would require public funding through the Federal Aviation Administration.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done to try to figure this out — is there any validity to it and, if there is, what does that look like?,” Herndon said. “What we are talking about is -- is it even worth funding a study?"

An Effingham County property owner has expressed interest in making some of his land available for an airport.

That county’s lack of an airport hasn’t been a factor in the IDA’s efforts to recruit industries, Herndon said.