Bush Field, Daniel Field, and The City of Augusta prepare for traffic

Wednesday, March 27, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The City of Augusta has announced its traffic plan for Masters Week, and there are only a couple changes. One big one is you will not be allowed to turn onto Washington Road from Azalea Drive or Magnolia Drive, but you can turn onto them from Washington Road.

While they are looking at street traffic, Daniel Field is working on monitoring the air traffic. Normally the control tower at Daniel Field is empty but because of all the traffic during golf week, they will have someone up there telling pilots when to land and where to park.

At the same time every year you can find George Cline sitting up high at Daniel Field.

"We have 4 controllers here and between the 4 controllers we have about 250 years of experience, air traffic control experience," said George Cline, the owner of Airboss Inc. and manages the temporary tower at Daniel Field.

For more than 20 years, Cline has worked this tower during golf week. First as an air traffic controller under the FAA and now with his own company.

"I carry insurance, this is a full-fledged company all my controllers are ex-FAA controllers, they're all retired they all have control tower operator certificates," said Cline.

For seven days, Cline will be talking with controllers at Augusta Regional Airport and telling pilots when they can land at Daniel Field.

“They'll call us with an inbound and they'll say number 12345 is 5 miles north on a visual approach they'll put em on us, we'll clear them to land, we taxi them to the ramp," said Cline.

The good news is they can park more than 80 planes at Daniel Field.

"Our motto is if you can land it we can park it we've never run out of parking places for any of the aircraft that come in," said Becky Shealy, the vice president of business development at Augusta Aviation at Daniel Field.

Preps for traffic on the ground are also underway. Signs pointing you to the course are going up and Augusta has a new center to control traffic.

“We can now monitor several of our signals in real time," said John Ussery, the assistant director of Augusta traffic and engineering department.

This should speed up your travels during Masters week and every week.

"We can see more intersections at the same time so it should improve efficiency as we work the traffic," said Ussery.

The City will start monitoring traffic on Saturday, April 6th, and Cline and his team will start monitoring air traffic on Monday, April 8th.