Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Don Quattlebaum, a licensed pilot and a resident of Prince George, was named chairman of the Georgetown County Airport Commission on Oct. 1.
A native of Florence, Quattlebaum joined the commission last year and said he has some very specific ideas about what he would like to see accomplished at the airport.
“I’d like to work together with County Council to maximize the benefits of what the airport can bring to the county. Business aviation is very important if we want industrial growth. Companies want a place to keep their planes,” Quattlebaum said.
He noted that there has been an extensive waiting list for hangar space at the airport for “quite a long time.”
The airport in Georgetown has 31 T-hangars leased to aircraft owners in addition to a corporate hangar.
There are 44 aircraft permanently based at the airport, and about 80 aircraft operations occur per day.
“We’re trying to come up with a way to build additional hangars for people who want to come into this area; they want to start a business here or buy a second home here, but they need a place to house their planes,”Quattlebaum said. “Airplane owners pay a lot of property taxes, not just on their planes, but on second homes and such. I want to work hand in hand with the county to try to maximize what they’re doing without spending a lot of money.”
Quattlebaum praised the county for the recent improvements made at the airport, including a new terminal building opened under the county’s Capital Improvement Plan and a runway extension.
“They’ve done a tremendous job,” he said, “but we’ve got to stay on top of it and not just rest on our laurels.”
Quattlebaum is retired from New Castle Imports, a company that imports French wine and sells it around the country. After his retirement, he said, he decided to pursue his dream of being a pilot, and has been flying his own plane, a single-engine turboprop, since 2010. He is the husband of Hayden Quattlebaum and has three children: Paul, a New York musician; Andy, 16, who attends boarding school out of state; and daughter Rett, who recently graduated from Tuft’s Medical School.
– From Georgetown County