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Crews clearing trees at Briscoe Field

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Trees near Briscoe Field are being removed. According to officials, the tree removal has nothing to do with privatization.

Staff Photo: Jason Braverman. Trees near Briscoe Field are being removed. According to officials, the tree removal has nothing to do with privatization.

LAWRENCEVILLE — Construction crews are clearing the way for planes — but not commercial jets.

While some opponents of a proposed commercialization of Briscoe Field have been alarmed to see construction equipment at Briscoe Field, officials said the work actually dates back to a 2005 report and is in no way involved in the local privatization debate.

“This has nothing to do with privatization. This is done to support the General Aviation function that presently exists at the airport,” Transportation Director Brian Allen said.

Matt Smith, the county’s airport director, said a 2005 state inspection of the airport noted trees dotting the approach slopes of the airport near Cedars Road.

Over the past several years, officials have worked to identify the obstructions, apply for grants and meet environmental regulations, Smith said.

The environmental process was completed last year, and the money was placed in the 2011 funding cycle for the Federal Aviation Administration. Commissioners approved an $847,499.57 contract with Simpsons Trucking and Grading in February.

While crews began on the property across Cedars from the main airport, Smith said crews will eventually remove all the trees on the airport property.