Paulding airport authority appoints interim director

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June 25, 2014 - Paulding County - The Paulding County Airport terminal (left) and new hangers (right) viewed from a hill overlooking the airport. Taxi way expansion has been completed, and construction continues in FBO area of Paulding County Airport. First, Delta CEO Richard Anderson said he would fight Paulding County's effort to commercialize its airport. Then residents filed four legal challenges. Now, the city of Atlanta is threatening legal action, saying Paulding, which purchased land from Atlanta for the airport back in 2007, is in breach of contract on that deal. Paulding officials deny that and say Atlanta's opposition flies in the face of the regionalism that Mayor Kasim Reed spoke about to leaders there a few years ago. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

The Paulding County airport, which has spent the last few years in an effort to become a second commercial airport in metro Atlanta, has a new interim director.

The Paulding County Airport Authority has named Terry Tibbitts as its interim airport director for a three-month period as it searches for a permanent airport director. Airport authority chairman Calvin Thompson said he has started taking applications and resumes for the director job.

The general aviation airport, called Silver Comet Field, is about 35 miles northwest of downtown Atlanta.

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Paulding County airport. BOB ANDRES / BANDRES@AJC.COM

Blake Swafford, the previous airport director who was one of the architects of the commercialization effort, resigned last month for another position. “I simply got a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” Swafford said then.

Tibbitts, who has served on the Paulding airport authority board as an Industrial Building Authority member since earlier this year, is a retired director of Georgia Tech Research Institute’s Electronic Systems Laboratory. He is stepping down from his board member position to take on the interim airport director role.

Tibbitts has been a supporter of the airport commercialization effort, which was first announced in 2013. He is a resident of Paulding County and a pilot.

The airport commercialization is on hold pending an environmental assessment and lawsuits challenging the effort.


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