New aircraft training pad under construction

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
Bulldozers are currently busy moving dirt on the northwest corner of Macon Street and Marchbanks Drive.

The $580,000 construction project will be home to an aircraft training pad. The nearly two-acre site will include concrete pavement that will initially hold an F-15 and a C-130. The aircraft will be used to provide ongoing training to mechanics in the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group.

"This project will provide a dedicated space for aircraft training operations," said Christina Honea, 402nd AMXG industrial engineer.

The new training area, scheduled to be completed this fall, will allow mechanics to work in a permanent location. Temporary sites for training have previously been set up on grounds at the Museum of Aviation and also inside the industrial complex.

Currently, earth work is underway to bring the site up to grade prior to placement of the pavement. The concrete pad will measure 175 feet wide from east to west, and 325 feet from north to south, according to Jeff Hooper, 778th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager. The site will include security fencing, along with access roads; storm drainage facilities, including a dry detention basin for stormwater control and treatment; and gravel area for future growth.

"Due to the steady efforts of Marion Edwards, the inspector on this project, we expect the facility to be completed on or ahead of schedule," Hooper added.

As future requirements grow, there is room for expansion on the site, with space for an additional aircraft, as well as support facilities through a partnership with the museum.

"At some point we're hoping to be able to relocate some of our restoration and training classrooms to that area," said Ken Emery, museum director.

Emery added that a partnership already exists with Middle Georgia Technical College, which conducts sheet metal classes at the museum. He said he hopes to expand offerings with the college, in partnership with the 402nd AMXG, as part of the overall development of the site.