County officials promote Tara Field facelift

On the heels of buying Tara Field from Clayton County, Henry County officials were on hand during race weekend, welcoming NASCAR drivers to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for Sunday’s Advocare 500.

County officials said they want to make the airport “the preferred choice for aviation in the region,” according to county spokesperson, Julie Hoover-Ernst.

The airport has been painted, and there were signs welcoming pilots and NASCAR drivers to the airport.

District IV Commissioner Reid Bowman said the goal was to let people know Tara Field is under new management.

“We are going to make this facility a state of the art facility for this area, and for Henry County,” said Bowman.

“A large banner read: ‘Henry County’s Airport is Taking Off,’ and supplemental brochures and displays made the new owner’s plans to improve the airport abundantly clear,” Hoover-Ernst said. “By 2014, Henry County intends to have completed the improvements first advocated by the [Federal Aviation Administration] in its Environmental Assessment report to Clayton County in 2006.”

The improvements will be funded almost entirely by the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, Hoover-Ernst said. An instrument-landing system is planned, to bring the airport up to the safety standards recommended for the size and type of aircraft which fly into Tara Field.

Henry and Clayton counties, last month, finalized the sale of the airport. Henry paid $2.7 million of the $17.7 million price tag, and will spread payments out over the next three budget years.

The FAA will fund the remaining $15 million.