Thu, Aug 19, 2010
Donated Land Has A Great View Of Airport Activity
One of the things often cited as a barrier to the next
generation getting involved in aviation is the lack of access to
airports and the spaces around them. It's tough these days to go
peer through the airport fence, and out of sight is out of mind.
The Greenville, South Carolina Airport Commission voted this
week to start a fundraising effort to build a park near the soon to
open, Runway Café which it is hoped will become a place
to go and watch the airplanes fly. The Commission will be donating
the use of it's land for the park. "We would like to provide a
place for our Upstate community residents to enjoy aviation and
outside recreation," said Joe Frasher, Airport Director at KGMU.
"At any given time, you can drive around GMU and see people stopped
in their cars viewing the airport's activity. We look forward to
providing a welcoming destination where people can park, get out
and feel comfortable enjoying this special place," stated Hank
Brown, owner of Greenville Jet Center.
Proposed KGMU Park Playground Design
"We envision a set up similar to the
one at the Peachtree Dekalb Airport (KPDK) in Atlanta. It has
picnic tables, a viewing stand and playground equipment. We would
also like to have a walking exercise path around the space. Several
park designs are under consideration. We are just waiting to see
how much money we can raise and whether or not a large sponsor
would like to help make the final choice. We are looking for
individuals and companies that would like to make donations of any
amount to enhance our community's interest in aviation, while at
the same time providing an activity based outside space," said Lara
Kaufmann, Public Relations Director for KGMU.
The park site has a great view of airport activity and is adjacent
to KGMU's, soon-to-open, new restaurant, the Runway Café .
This appropriately named venue will have indoor and outdoor
seating, private meeting room space and a hangar for large special
events. The Runway Café will serve a variety of food, as
well as beer and wine.
"A plan is being made to have levels of donations and the largest
donor may get to even name the park," stated Kaufmann. "All
donation amounts are welcome. Five dollars here and ten dollars
there will really add up. All donations are tax deductible, per our
tax accountant and we will build the best park that we can with the
money we are able to raise. Our first official pledge has come from
Greenville Jet Center which has committed to donate a portion of
all their plane fuel sales from now until the park is completed,"
Greenville Downtown Airport (KGMU)
KGMU is the busiest general aviation airport in South Carolina
and is a self-sufficient entity with financial strength that
doesn't rely on local taxpayers for funding. The airport is home to
more than 25 aviation-related businesses creating 453 jobs that
annually contribute more than $35.2 million to the Upstate
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