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Airport Expansion Causes Families to Move

By: Vanessa Araiza Email
By: Vanessa Araiza Email

The Federal Aviation Administration has a new act requiring the Dothan Regional Airport to expand its runway protection zone. However, it's causing heartache for those who have to call a new place home.

Scott Horne and his family live in close proximity of land the Dothan Regional Airport needs to expand for a new requirement set by the Federal Aviation Administration.

"It's just hard to accept that the land that's been in your family for over 100 years and then all of a sudden, you know, within a couple of years, it's gone, you just lose everything your families had for so long and there's nothing you can do about it," says Horne.

Director of Dothan Regional Airport, Art Morris, said, "The runway protection zone doesn't have to be clear of obstacles, but it has to be clear of homes and places of public congregation. So, you can't have people living in the runway protection zone and have a business where people gather."

Morris says he has sympathy for those that are losing their property. However, he says their sacrifice will be saving thousands of families’ jobs.

"If we lose the use of our runways, then those jobs go away as well. So, from a community stand point, you certainly have to look at it like this; this impacts this one family, but if the airport were to close, then that impacts over a thousand families," said Morris.

The family says the hardest part of the move isn't the move itself, but that their having to leave what they've called home for 10 decades.

"My granddaddy built it in the 30's and my father was raised here. I was raised around here and then my little boy," said Horne.

The Horne family has been compensated for their land and move. Officials with the airport say they still need to obtain two more small pieces of land.


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