12 On Your Side: Runway could close because of violation

By: liz.owens@wrdw.com
By: liz.owens@wrdw.com

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- A unique airport community in Aiken County is in jeopardy after failing to get the proper permits to pave their neighborhood runway.

Everyone in Twin Lakes Air Park has one thing in common: their love for flying.

"They can leave here and go all over the United States then come right back here," pilot John Shey said.

Shey moved to Twin Lakes Air Park in the early 1980s to start an aviation maintenance business. Most people live in Twin Lakes Air Park because of the runway.

But now, the residents worry they may soon lose it.

"If the airport is closed down, I don't think you could even sell your property," Shey said.

And his fear could become reality.

In 2006, the owners of the runway decided to have it repaved. However, they made a costly mistake by failing to get the proper permits with the county.

The county learned of the violation this summer and slapped the S-17 Owners Association with a thousand dollar a day fine until the runway meets engineering standards. Documents show S-17 is also dealing with a foreclosure suit.

"They're hurting the people that didn't do the wrong," Shey said.

According to the local magistrate, lawyers on both sides are currently working toward an agreement and it could mean closing the runway down. If the runway does close, residents will have 45 days to relocate their planes.

However, the agreement has not been finalized yet.

"People come here for that reason. They came here for the airport," Shey said.

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