First, we have Vidalia Regional (KVDI). This was a very nice, home-y feeling airport that is actually home to an airshow that draws quite a crowd, due to their very special customers that are extremely popular. If you haven’t guessed, The Navy’s own Blue Angels are frequent buyers of gas and other amenities at VDI. I had the opportunity to chat with the man working that morning’s shift, who was a pilot himself. Turns out he actually visits one of our base airports, PDK, quite a lot. The airport is home to aircraft renters, flight schools, and other necessities in the aviation industry. Overall, it is a very nice place to just hang out, so I am giving it 9 out of 10
Alright! For Florida, we have the airport in downtown St. Augustine, or Northeast Florida Regional Airport (KSGJ). This was small, and 90% general aviation, but it also had commercial service. There are two scheduled airlines currently serving NFRA. They are Via Air, which serves Charlotte, using their Embraer EMB-120 Brasilia’s. They have four flights a week, two each on Thursdays and Sundays. The second is Frontier, which serves Trenton using the A319. The passenger terminal is unique as it is located in an old cloth hanger. It is not a big thing, housing only Check-in, security, and a few waiting area seats. The baggage claim is outside, under a pavilion. So, you can fly out commercially, but there is also an Atlantic Aviation FBO on the airport grounds. So if you happen to be fortunate enough to fly private, you will be pampered by the people at Atlantic. Due to its commercial service, the place it pretty locked up, so we couldn’t really get any good looks at the interworking’s of the airport. For this reason, we have to give it a 5 out of 10 just going off of curb appeal. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but in this case, we kinda had to.
Ok so we are back in Georgia now, and our first stop is Waycross – ware county airport. This little country airport is actually fairly pleasant to hang around, even if it only gets about 5-10 takeoffs/landings a day. They’ve got a very comfortable back porch on the FBO with rocking chairs, big porch swings, and other things of that sort all under the shade by a big lawn before you hit the ramp. The inside is a little outdated, and the building itself could use a face lift, so, I’d give this one around a 5.
Next we have Alma – Bacon county airport (KAMG). This one was really tucked back to the point of where it was hard to find, but we were glad we did. While the outside could steer you away, the interior is very lavish. There are huge leather recliners and sofas, a kitchen area, computer room, and hanger access right from the airport building. It is not staffed, or at least not when we were there, but overall it was very nice and I would give it an 8/10.
Last and well, least, we have Hazlehurst Municipal (KAZE). This one was not very nice by any means. All it really had was some chairs, restrooms, and a refrigerator. The outside wasn’t any better, with just a few benches. They did however have a large selection of aviation magazines and newspapers up for grabs. This was probably in the worst shape out of the airports we visited, so this one is going to rank in around 2 or 3.
Well, hopefully this inspired you to do some digging and find some little small town airports of your own! As always, let me know what y’all think in the comments!