New airport terminal project hits some turbulence

The bidder the airport wants to work with needs to increase their DBE goal by at least nine percent if they want to win new terminal project

There's not just a hole in the airport's land, there's a hole in their bidding process.

The Aviation Committee met Monday and discussed the new terminal for the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport.

The airport says they learned the steal company involved in the bid they are currently looking at was not Disadvantaged Business Enterprise â" or DBE -- certified. Airport officials say DBE is a federal program that aims to utilize companies that are at least 51 percent owned by a minority.

"What that means is that they did not hand in their yearly paperwork like they should have to G-DOT, and because of that they became decertified, and what that means is basically they are not counted toward our DBE on our projects," says Airport Director Yvette Aehle.

Aehle says the airport and Federal Aviation Committee DBE goal for this project is 14.7 percent. Airport officials say the steel company's decertification drops the bid's DBE goal from their promised 17.83 percent to five percent. The airport will return to the bidder to find out if they can raise their DBE goal to the minimum 14.7 percent necessary.

Aehle says the bid was supposed to made official this month, but now it will have to wait until May.

If this falls through, the airport will turn to the next bidder in line, which is the highest bidder. Airport officials say the highest bid will cost $2 million more than the current bid they are working on.