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BOC to mull private airport grant

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Commissioners could take the first steps Tuesday to seek a federal grant to privatize the Gwinnett County Airport at Briscoe Field.

After earmarking $250,000 in the county budget earlier this month, commissioners will consider a resolution to support a "preliminary application" to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chairman Charles Bannister said the move would put the county in line for a limited number of FAA grants to privatize airports, but it does not mean the airport will allow commercial flights, which has been proposed by Propeller Investments.

Extensive studies will begin soon to consider the feasibility, he said.

"We're trying to do this methodically," Bannister said. "In the end, it would be aired publicly."

Since Propeller's proposal, which is detailed at www.whyprivatizebriscoe.com, Bannister said most of the public response has been positive, unlike a proposal to expand the airport in the 1990s, which drew criticism.

On Tuesday, the resolution will come up during sessions scheduled at unusual times. The board will meet in its work session at noon and business session at 2:30 p.m.