There will be no new runways, but plenty of storage for more planes. That was the message officials at DeKalb-Peachtree Airport gave the public Dec. 10 at the last of several meetings on the non-commercial hub’s 20-year master plan.
Built during World War II, the 730-acre airport has grown to house 355 aircrafts, host 160,000 flights a year and create $16 million in local and state tax revenue.
“It’s an ideal location for business travel in Atlanta,” said Jim Duguay, with the consulting firm Michael Baker International.
Classified as a general aviation reliever airport, PDK has four aviation service companies, seven flight schools, and two helicopter operations. It is the second-busiest airport – behind Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International – in the state.
Located on Clairmont Road in Chamblee on the Brookhaven border, the airport is at capacity for storing planes, Duguay told a virtual audience in an hour-long presentation and question/answer session.
The $79 million improvements over the next 20 years will include more hangers for current planes that are housed outside and an expected 120 additional planes in the years to come. A new taxiway leading to the main 6,000-foot runway will be added. The airport could get as many as 218,000 take-offs and landings in the next 20 years, Duguay said.
The approach lighting system on the runway will be extended as well as the protection boundaries.
There could also be 15 additional hangers holding between one and two planes each.
The administration building will undergo renovations.
A couple of other items mentioned in the master plan lack details. One calls for adding a two-story parking deck, possibly with retail space on its ground floor. Another idea is an aviation museum. A foundation earlier this year proposed creating an Atlanta Air & Space Museum at the airport.
There are no plans to extend the runways at the airport or add additional ones, Duguay said.
“We are landlocked by roads,” he said.
There will be a sidewalk and street lights added to Dresden Drive, which borders the airport.
In order to get grants and other money from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport has to have a master plan. Both organizations will review the plan before it goes before the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners for approval.
A timeframe for all of that has not been set.
Noise is a perennial issue in neighborhoods and cities around PDK, with a voluntary curfew on night flights and a complaint reporting system. Questions at the end of the second session centered around noise levels. It was asked whether there was any thought to trying to decrease that. Mario Evans, head of the airport, said that flight paths are set by the Federal Aviation Administration.
Another question centered around air quality and Evans said one assessment had been done and another was in the works.
“I think we should identify what we are doing to the community,” he said. “The airport stands on trying to do our due diligence.”
Evans said “you might not like the results, but it was a good report,” and that the air quality fell within FAA guidelines.
“Just because one party said it wasn’t acceptable does not make it a failure,” he said.
The Environmental Protection Agency, the state and the FAA are planning to do a more detailed study, Evans said.
Residents can comment or take a survey provided here until Dec. 18.