The future of Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville is up in the air again as Gwinnett County’s new commission chair takes her place.
Charlotte Nash was sworn in Monday as Chair of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. One commissioner, John Heard, is already proposing a resolution against expanding commercial flights.
"We don't want 737's flying in and out of our homes," says Heard.
Heard tells Channel 2 Action News he has drafted a resolution that leaves the door open to privatize Briscoe Field, as long as ticketed, scheduled flights are not part of the deal.
"That's a definite financial cut in the value of the home," says Heard.
Many of the residents Heard represents are worried and even have signs in their yards against expanding the airport. Norman Smith is one of them.
"Nobody wants to be in the path of the large jets," Smith told Channel 2 Action News. Glenn Roberts agrees. "I don't want to be here because of all the noise," says Roberts.
However, not everyone is against the controversial expansion. Paula Hastings with the group, Fly Gwinnett Forward, calls the commissioner’s plan short-sighted.
"Yes, let’s look at privatization, but let's also look at the feasibility to having scheduled ticketed service," says Hastings. She wants all of the options weighed, including one that would bring about 20 commercial passenger flights in and out of Briscoe each day.
"It brings economic boom. It brings an incredible opportunity for redevelopment in the area," says Hastings.
Newly sworn-in Board Chair Charlotte Nash is against the expansion. Commissioner Heard is planning to introduce his resolution April 19.
Originally published by WSB Radio, March 29, 2011