State Transportation Board Funds Improvements at Nine N.C. Airports

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Transportation has approved state and federal funds for much-needed improvements to nine of North Carolina’s publicly-owned airports.

The $3.7 million in funding, approved by the board during its June meeting, will be used to provide improvements such as better runway lighting, new fuel tanks and safer taxiways.

North Carolina airports serve as a vital economic engine connecting people and business enterprises with the world. They are among the primary economic drivers in their local communities.

For example, $1.59 million will be used to prepare land for new t-hangars and taxilanes at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport. The hangars and taxilanes will enable the facility to accommodate more aircraft, enhance customer service and generate additional tax revenue for the airport, said Jack Poole, the airport’s supervisor.

“We have a waiting list of over 20 pilots that want to base their aircraft here,” Poole said. “Once we have these hangars built, these based aircraft will be an income source and help our airport become almost totally self-sufficient.”

The projects the N.C. Board of Transportation approved include:

*$10,602 to help replace aging fuel tanks at Avery County Airport.
*$873,900 for taxiway reconstruction at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.
*$257,400 to design the second phase of the west apron expansion,at Cape Fear Regional Jetport (Southport).
*$249,930 to design an apron expansion and a new helipad at Harnett Regional Jetport.
*$236,970 for runway lighting and improved aprons at Henderson-Oxford Airport.
*$9,410 to clear and prepare land for a future Automated Weather Observation Station at Martin County Airport.
*$171,000 for design of an improved apron at Michael J. Smith Field (Beaufort).
*$211,500 to reimburse the airport for land purchased for a runway extension at Mt. Airy-Surry County Airport.
*$116,550 to add taxiway rehabilitation to the existing design of a project to rehabilitate a runway at Washington-Warren Field.

Airports and aviation-related industries contribute $31 billion to North Carolina’s economy each year, according to a 2016 report. There are 123,400 airport-related jobs in the state. The Division of Aviation is responsible for state airport and aviation system planning and development, and provides funding to communities for constructing and improving airports throughout the state.

The funds awarded do not in all cases represent the total cost of the project.