From snubbed to cherished...
After nearly 50 years, people are finally
beginning to pay attention to Barrow County Airport
By Jason Taylor
Despite a 50-mile separation, it’s conceivable
that Barrow County, Georgia, like its suburban brethren, will
eventually be devoured by Atlanta’s ravenous sprawl. Or maybe the
once unassuming Northeast Georgia tract, which in the past five
years has seen half a dozen industrial firms take root along Highway
316, the area’s major corridor, will pounce first. Not so fast, say
the voices in between. Either way, one of the biggest beneficiaries
of this progression has been the Barrow County Airport (WDR).
Even decades following the airport’s completion
in the 1940s, most of Barrow’s residents figured WDR to be little
more than a hangout for country-boy pilots and crop dusters. They
saw little purpose in devoting attention, not to mention tax
dollars, to the facility.
Interest finally started picking up about five
years ago. Until then it appeared as if WDR would remain a stagnant
fixture among Barrow’s more relevant extensions like the Chateau
Elan Winery, Fort Yargo State Park or even Road Atlanta.
The joint-use facility is currently home to 20
National Guard helicopters and over 150 business and private
aircraft. With a location outside Class B airspace, WDR experiences
little congestion, making it a perfect place to learn to fly.
A few years ago, Owen Battle obtained his
pilots license and promptly recognized a lack of hangar space around
most airports. He soon left the home building industry and started
Air Battle, Inc. (770-231-5053), a hangar leasing and construction
Romanair (770-867-4001) is the airport’s FBO.
Services include fuel, aircraft maintenance, catering and aviation
accessories. Rave Aviation (770-867-3105) offers maintenance,
avionics sales and service and aircraft detailing.
Stop by the Spitfire Deli (770-867-0086 or
additional information on Barrow County Airport call 770-307-3013.
Development sites are available at WDR.
Please contact the airport director's office for more information.
Map of future airport development.
Click to open the full sized picture in .pdf format.