Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport

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Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport
Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport Terminal.jpg
Summary
Airport typePublic
OwnerPaulding County Board of Commissioners
ServesAtlanta, Georgia
LocationDallas, Georgia
Elevation AMSL1,289 ft / 393 m
Coordinates33°54′43″N 084°56′26″W / 33.91194°N 84.94056°W / 33.91194; -84.94056Coordinates: 33°54′43″N 084°56′26″W / 33.91194°N 84.94056°W / 33.91194; -84.94056
WebsitePauldingAirport.com
Map
PUJ is located in Georgia
PUJ
PUJ
Location of airport in Georgia
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
13/31 5,505 1,678 Concrete
Statistics
Based aircraft11
Sources: Airport,[1] FAA,[2] Georgia DOT[3]

Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport (formerly known as Silver Comet Field) (ICAO: KPUJ, FAA LID: PUJ) is a small public use airport in Paulding County, Georgia, United States.[2] Formerly known as Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport and Paulding County Regional Airport,[4] it is owned by the Paulding County Board of Commissioners.[2] The airport is located in Dallas, Georgia,[5] 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Atlanta.[1] It is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a general aviation facility.[6]

This airport is located on the Rockmart Highway (U.S. Route 278), approximately 25 miles from the nearest interstate and 40 miles from Midtown Atlanta. Construction was completed in late 2008. It is the ninth local airport in metro Atlanta, and the first new jet-capable airport in Georgia since 1975. To date more than $70M has gone into the construction and development of the airport. Paulding County has spent roughly $10 million of its own money, roughly $55 million in Federal Aviation Administration grants[7][verification needed], and $7 million in state funds on the airport. It is anticipated that economic development activity at the airport could result in more than $350 Million[8][verification needed] in annual economic activity and thousands of jobs for Paulding County over the next decade.

Although many U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, this facility is assigned PUJ by the FAA[2] but has no designation from the IATA[9] (which assigned PUJ to Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic[10]).

History[edit]

In 1975, in anticipation of a second international airport, the city of Atlanta purchased 10,165 acres (41.14 km2) of land in Paulding for $925 per acre.[11] In early 2007, the county purchased 162 acres (0.7 km2) of the property for the new general aviation airport.[11] Paulding County is unserved by either rapid transit or freeways.

2012 hangar collapse[edit]

On February 22, 2012, one worker was killed and another was injured by the collapse of the second hangar during construction work. Construction of this hangar had earlier been delayed, in December 2011, when it was discovered that the hangar's concrete slab was not level.[12][13]

2012 tornado[edit]

On the night of March 2, 2012, during the tornado outbreak of March 2–3, 2012, the airport was struck by an EF3 tornado that tore a 12-mile (19 km) path across the county. Several million dollars in damage was done, including $1.5 million to the facility, and $5 million to the aircraft parked and stored there, most of which were destroyed (between 18 and 23 aircraft). The hangar was so severely damaged it had to be torn down and rebuilt. The airport was closed until cleanup and essential repairs were completed.[14][15][16]

Repairs to the terminal building were completed in October 2012. The airport became operational with aircraft activity near levels documented prior to the March 2012 tornado, though the airport's only charter service ceased operations there.[17] This was the first time that a local airport had been struck by a tornado since Atlanta Speedway Airport in 2005.[speculation?].

Privatization[edit]

On October 4, 2013, Paulding County announced a Public Private Partnership with Propeller Investments, llc dba Propeller Airports, llc dba Silver Comet Terminal Partners, llc[incomprehensible] to further develop the airport, with an intent to provide commercial passenger services. This was opposed by local residents, to whom the head of the Paulding County Airport Authority had previously promised[weasel words] that the airport would remain a general aviation airport.[18] Consequently, residents filed several lawsuits, addressing violations of Georgia's Sunshine Laws and Open Meetings Act, and an ultra vires suit against the Paulding County Industrial Building Authority for overextending its authority[importance?],[19][20] with some of these lawsuits being filed by attorneys associated with Delta Air Lines.[21]

  • October 2013: Residents filed a legal challenge against bond funding for a taxiway expansion.
  • November 2013: Residents filed a second legal challenge, questioning Federal Aviation Administration environmental approvals of planned expansions.
  • December 2013: Court ruled in favor of the airport and county in the bond funding case. Residents pledged to appeal. A settlement was announced for the FAA case, calling for an environmental assessment, postponing commercialization of the airport.
  • January 2014: Paulding residents filed a legal challenge regarding airport leases and a loan funding the taxiway expansion.

By 2015, anti-privatization politicians had been elected to the Paulding County Commission, straining the private industry relations, and by 2018, the Airport Authority terminated the partnership.[22] In 2021, a judge upheld the county's cancellation of the agreements and the companies appealed.[22]

Facilities[edit]

Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport covers an area of 164 acres (66 ha) at an elevation of 1,289 feet (393 m) above mean sea level.[2] It has one southeast–northwest runway designated 13/31 which measures 5,505 by 100 feet (1,678 m × 30 m).[2] Made of concrete, it is capable of landing aircraft up to 50,000 pounds (22,680 kg) for single-wheel landing gear, and 90,000 pounds (40,823 kg) for dual-wheel.

A new, 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) terminal building was opened in May 2010, along with the airport's new fixed-base operator, Paulding Jet Center. The airport also has an AWOS weather station, a rotating beacon, and pilot-activated runway lighting. The runway elevation averages 1,286 feet (392 m) AMSL, ±3 feet (±1m). PUJ offers an ILS and GPS approach on runway 31. The National Weather Service did not carry observations for this location until late 2012 or early 2013.

On October 1, 2020, the Paulding Airport FBO took the place of the former Paulding Jet Center FBO. This new FBO is under direction of the Paulding County Airport Authority.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport". Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f FAA Airport Form 5010 for PUJ – PAULDING NORTHWEST ATLANTA PDF. Federal Aviation Administration. Effective April 5, 2012.
  3. ^ "PUJ – PAULDING NORTHWEST ATLANTA". Georgia Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 12, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  4. ^ "KPUJ – Paulding County Regional Airport – Dallas, Georgia". FAA information effective April 8, 2010. AirNav. Archived from the original on April 20, 2010.
  5. ^ "Contact". Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  6. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. {{cite web}}: External link in |work= (help)
  7. ^ Carey, Susan; McWhirter, Cameron (2013-12-18). "Delta Battles Tiny Upstart Airport". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-06-16.
  8. ^ "NeighborNewsOnline.com | Suburban Atlanta's Local". neighbornewspapers.com. Retrieved 2015-06-22.
  9. ^ "Paulding County Regional Airport (ICAO: KPUJ, FAA: PUJ, IATA: none)". Great Circle Mapper. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  10. ^ "Punta Cana International Airport (IATA: PUJ, ICAO: MDPC)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved August 15, 2010.
  11. ^ a b "Atlanta sells back land for Paulding airport". Atlanta Business Chronicle. July 3, 2007. Retrieved October 12, 2007.
  12. ^ "Kathryn's Report: 1 still critical after hangar collapse at Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport (KPUJ), Atlanta, Georgia". www.kathrynsreport.com. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  13. ^ "Man dies from injuries in Paulding hangar collapse". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  14. ^ "An airplane sits upside down following tornado damage at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport in Dallas. Photo 03/03/2012". townhall.com. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  15. ^ "Airport officials look at an overturned plane lying on its back after flipping over following tornado damage at the Paulding Northwest Atlanta Airport in Dallas Photo 03/03/2012". townhall.com. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  16. ^ "Storm Damage Closes Paulding Airport". legacy.gpb.org. Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  17. ^ "Paulding Co. airport reopens after tornado". wsbtv.com. March 9, 2012.
  18. ^ Head of Paulding County Airport Authority, retrieved 2015-06-18
  19. ^ "Residents file suit over Paulding airport authority closed..." Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  20. ^ "Palling residents target authority board members in airport suit". Retrieved 2015-06-18.
  21. ^ Yamanouchi, Kelly (15 January 2014). "Delta, big guns fight Paulding airport plans". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved 23 August 2021.
  22. ^ a b Yamanouchi, Kelly (23 August 2021). "Judge upholds cancellation of lease to commercialize Paulding County airport". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Cox Enterprises. Retrieved 23 August 2021.

External links[edit]