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Private airport plan on its way

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Gwinnett may soon be in line for a Federal Aviation Authority pilot privatization slot.

Officials submitted a formal preliminary application for one of the five slots, which would allow the county to turn the airport over to a private company without having to repay FAA grants.

The FAA has 30 days to review the document, which is available online at www.gwinnettcounty.com. Gwinnett Transportation Director Brian Allen had announced the submission earlier, but the form was only in a draft form then.

The preliminary application only begins a privatization study period, after a proposal from Propeller Investments to buy or lease Briscoe Field and open it to commercial flights.

"There will certainly be many opportunities for public input along with environmental and economic impact studies," Chairman Charles Bannister said.

Over the next few months, officials are expected to meet with stakeholders and interested parties to study the idea before taking formal bids. A final application could be submitted early next year, according to the project timeline.

He expects county staff to meet over the next few months with residents and other interested parties and stakeholders.

Located on 500 acres northeast of Lawrenceville, Briscoe Field has a 6,021-foot runway, capable of handling most corporate jets, a press release said.