Decorated NASA Astronaut Curtis Brown Jr. Cuts Ribbon At New Airport Terminal

The mood was light and there was a feeling of excitement in the air as residents, elected officials, and members of the Elizabethtown Airport Economic Development Board all gathered for the ribbon cutting for the newly constructed airport terminal building.

The keynote speaker for the event was retired US Air Force Colonel and retired astronaut, Curtis L. Brown Jr. He also cut the ribbon to officially declare the new terminal open for business.

Brown is a native of Bladen County. He was joined by his wife, Mary, his son Greg, and his sister Rebecca Baldwin.

“I’m very proud to be from Elizabethtown,” said Brown. “I’m very honored to be here today. I’m very honored to have my name on it (the Curtis L. Brown Jr. Field).”

Brown recalled growing up in Elizabethtown and learning to fly at the airfield that now bears his name.

He recounted that one day, in teenaged years, he was on his way to work at the former Western Auto Store that was run by his father when he saw a couple of airplanes on the side of the road at the airstrip. At the time the airport didn’t have any hangars.  Brown said he stopped and spoke to the men there and they told him they were going to give flying lessons.

Brown said he drove to town and told his father he was going to take flying lessons. He said he soloed in a Cessna 150.

“My life changed forever,” said Brown.

He said he also would help with the lessons by flying the planes to Lumberton to fuel up because at that time, there was no fueling station at the Elizabethtown air strip.

Brown went on to have a successful career in the US Air Force attaining the rank of Colonel before retiring. He also flew on six space shuttle missions, including one mission where he was joined by former astronaut and US Senator John Glenn.

Now, there are hangars, 26 aircraft are stationed at the airport, and there is fueling station as well as the newly constructed terminal building.

The terminal building was named in honor of Mac Campbell Sr. The Campbell family gathered outside the building beside a sign that now carries the name Mac Campbell Sr. Terminal Building. David Clark gave remarks about Campbell’s love for aviation and his dedication to the town of Elizabethtown.

Clark recounted first meeting Campbell when he was a young child. He said the first time he had met Mac Campbell Sr. was 80 years ago. He recounted that a child had been bitten by a dog and was having to take the rabies series of shots. At that time, the shots were very painful and had to be administered in the abdomen.

“Every day that guy had to have a shot. Mac Campbell Sr came to our room and he said something to the class and took that little boy and put him at ease and took the child for his shot and took him home,” said Clark. “That impressed me.”

Clark recounted how Campbell came to Elizabethtown and opened a gas station and a grill. Campbell’s business was doing well until he had a higher calling. Campbell was the very first man in North Carolina to be selected for the newly formed selective service. Clark said after serving in the war, Campbell came home and started Campbell Oil Company which continues to operate today.

Campbell was also very active in civic work and tried to make the town and county better.

He was also avidly involved in aviation. Campbell was one of very first individuals in Bladen County to have an airplane, according to Clark. Campbell had a small landing strip just north of NC 87 that started in the vicinity of what is today the Knights Inn motel and ended near Scout Lane.

Clark said the plane had a 40 horsepower engine and no wheel brakes and wheel at the tail. “He flew it and he flew it a lot,” said Clark.

Campbell is also credited with giving many individuals their first airplane ride and introducing others the love of aviation.

“He left quite a legacy that is still growing today. The hangars and aircraft here today are the results of the work of the second and third generation,” said Clark.

He also noted that former Elizabethtown Mayor Bill Keith was greatly influenced by Mac Campbell Sr. and his love of aviation.

Mayor Sylvia Campbell welcomed the guests and thanked those who have worked to make the new terminal building a reality. She acknowledged the Airport Economic Development Board and Town Manager Eddie Madden.

“I want to recognize and thank Eddie Madden. Thank you for continuing to help our airport grow and our town to grow,” said Mayor Campbell.

Others recognized included Assistant Town Manager Pat DeVane who served as project manager, the town board members, the interior designer Rob McNeil and other elected and government officials.  The building was constructed by Graka Builders of Whiteville for $1.4 million.

“We do appreciate the quality of what you have constructed for us,” said Fred Tate, the chairman of the Airport and Economic Development Board. “It is debt free. By receiving grant funds, we were able to do this without any increase in tax funds.”

Tate also briefly discussed the impact the airport has on the town and county. He said the airport generates $15 million in revenues and $211,000 in tax revenues. Tate also mentioned the service the airport provides to corporations.

Others recognized during the event were donors for furniture. They included, Mary Greene the conference room/boardroom is named the Ben W Green Conference Room. The family of David and Giles Clark have donated for the Pilots Lounge.



By Erin Smith, with BladenOnline.com

Elizabethtown prepares to debut new terminal building

Work on the new airport terminal building has been completed and the town staff are now putting the finishing touches on the building. The town is now gearing up for a grand opening celebration.

Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden said, “A ribbon cutting is planned for Friday, March 1.”

Mayor Sylvia Campbell sent out a public notice invitation about the ceremony. The ribbon cutting will take place at 11 a.m. on March 1st in front of the new terminal building. The building was constructed on the site of the old terminal building. The new building measures 4,495 square feet and was built on the site of the old terminal. The new building features a lobby, office space, a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, classroom space, restroom facilities, kitchen space, shower facilities, and storage space.

Construction was slowed slightly by Hurricane Florence but the building did not suffer any damage from the storm. All work in the terminal building are expected to be completed in time for the ribbon cutting on Friday, March 1.

Madden said the terminal project was funded with a $1.2 million grant from the North Carolina Division of Aviation.

The old terminal building was sold and moved off the property. The former terminal building was constructed in 1988 and dedicated to the memory of former Elizabethtown Mayor William “Bill” Keith in 1990.

Written by: Erin Smith, BladenOnline.com

Report: Airports Contribute $52 Billion, 307,000 Jobs to N.C. Economy

RALEIGH – North Carolina’s publicly owned airports contribute more than $52 billion to the state’s economy and support 307,000 jobs, according to a report released by the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation.

The report, North Carolina: The State of Aviation, highlights the economic impacts of the state’s public airports and the related aviation and aerospace assets that support North Carolina’s aviation economy. NCDOT created the report to help guide future investment in aviation infrastructure and to act as a tool for recruiting future aviation and aerospace industry.

Airports and aviation-related jobs also provide $12.6 billion in personal income and contribute $2.2 billion in state and local tax revenues every year.

“Our network of 72 public airports, and the aviation and aerospace assets that rely on them, help move our economy forward by creating jobs, supporting business growth and connecting people and companies to markets around the globe,” said Bobby Walston, director of NCDOT’s Division of Aviation.

North Carolina’s public airport system boasts 10 commercial service and 62 general aviation airports that connect local businesses and communities to global markets, house and refuel private aircraft, support military and agricultural aviation and statewide emergency response, and provide aviation services such as aerial photography and pilot training. The commercial service airports also offer regularly scheduled passenger service.

All airports generate significant economic return for their communities and the state. For instance, North Carolina’s public airports lease space to more than 3,300 private aircraft that generate more than $19 million in tax revenues for their communities each year. The owner of a $1.5 million aircraft based at a North Carolina airport pays local property taxes equivalent to those paid by owners of 10 homes valued at $150,000 each.

The report contains data compiled and analyzed for NCDOT by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education. Impacts are calculated based on factors such as jobs supported by the airports and the businesses that rely on them, business and leisure travelers, and airport capital projects and operations.

View the full report, including the breakdown of each individual airport’s contributions, atncdot.gov/aviation.

New facility coming in 2019

Plaque at airport

Work is almost complete on the new terminal building located at the Elizabethtown Airport. Big plans for the future of the airport and terminal building are in the works.

Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden said the contractor is performing touch-up work and completing a “punch list.”

Lobby

Madden said while work on the project was slowed by Hurricane Florence, it did not receive any damage during the storm. Madden said the town is anticipating the project will be completed and ready for a grand opening by February 2019.

Elizabethtown Airport Terminal Future is Bright

By Erin Smith, BladenOnline.com

Work is almost complete on the new terminal building located at the Elizabethtown Airport. Big plans for the future of the airport and terminal building are in the works.

Elizabethtown Town Manager Eddie Madden said the contractor is performing touch-up work and completing a “punch list.”

Madden said while work on the project was slowed by Hurricane Florence, it did not receive any damage during the storm. Madden said the town is anticipating the project will be completed and ready for a grand opening by February 2019.

He shared some exciting news about the future use of the terminal building.

“Our plan is to establish a civil air patrol squadron here. It will be a composite squadron that would give youth in the community the opportunity to learn more about aviation,” said Madden.

He stated the civil air patrol unit, if established, will need space for orientation, mapping and other flight training related activities.

“So far, the Fayetteville and Wilmington Squadrons have said they will help us get one established here. It would open the door for not only more use of the airport for the community but also open the doors for some of our youth to maybe take on a career in aviation,” said Madden.

The newly constructed terminal building offers a civil air patrol squadron plenty of space in which to learn and train. The new building measures 4,495 square feet and was built on the site of the old terminal. The new building features a lobby, office space, a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, classroom space, restroom facilities, kitchen space, shower facilities, and storage space.

The terminal project was funded with a $1.2 million grant from the North Carolina Division of Aviation.

The old terminal building was sold and moved off the property. The former terminal building was constructed in 1988 and dedicated to the memory of former Elizabethtown Mayor William “Bill” Keith in 1990.

State Transportation Board Funds Improvements at 24 N.C. Airports

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Transportation has approved state and federal funds for much-needed improvements to 27 North Carolina airports.

The $24.7 million in funding, approved by the board during its July meeting, will be used to provide improvements such as better runway lighting, new fuel tanks and safer taxiways.

For example, some of the funding is going to Anson County Airport- Jeff Cloud Field to help build a fence that will eventually enclose the entire airfield.  Located just miles from Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, the airport is always at risk from runway incursions by animals.

“Just like when you’re driving on the highway, deer and other wildlife present a danger to aircraft that are landing or taking off,” Said Chris Joffsen, who helps manage the airport for Anson County. “Once complete, operations here will become much safer and pilots won’t have to worry as much about encountering something on the runway.”

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.

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

*$903,240 to install phase II of perimeter fencing at Anson County Airport – Jeff Cloud Field.
*$390,600 to update the airport layout plan at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport.
*$526,000 to rehabilitate pavement at the aircraft apron in the Fixed Base Operation area at Clinton-Sampson County Airport.
*$426,600 to rehabilitate pavement on the north apron and $323,100 to update the airport layout plan at Currituck County Regional Airport.
*$155,000 to acquire land to clear obstructions from the runway approach, $306,000 to install security fencing around the terminal area and $321,300 to update the airport layout plan at Columbus County Municipal Airport.
*$585,000 to rehabilitate apron pavement to match the current strength of the runway and taxiways and $361,800 to update the airport layout plan at Dare County Regional Airport.
*$180,000 to update the airport layout plan at Duplin County Airport.
*$513,333 to construct a new hangar access road and $438,435 to reconstruct hangar taxilane pavement at Foothills Regional Airport (Morganton).
*$225,000 to update the airport layout plan at Halifax-Northampton Regional Airport.
*$2,484,000 for rehabilitation of the runway pavement at Henderson-Oxford Airport.
*$1,269,176 to prepare the site for a future Fixed based Operation and maintenance facility, and $325,800 to update the airport layout plan at Johnston County Airport
*$315,000 to obstructions to the Runway 23 approach and $531,236 to rehabilitate the general aviation apron pavement at Kinston Regional Jetport-Stallings Field.
*$610,000 to include Taxiway G in an active rehabilitation of Taxiway F at Laurinburg-Maxton Airport.
*$486,000 to replace outdate glideslope instruments at Mid-Carolina Regional Airport (Salisbury).
*$1,344,600 to rehabilitate taxiway pavement and $672,916 to complete environmental mitigation at Mount Airy Surry County Airport.
*$209,000 for design of a full parallel taxiway at Mount Olive Municipal Airport.
*$288,000 to update the airport layout plan at Northeastern Regional Airport (Edenton).
*$513,000 to remove Runway 6 obstructions at Person County Airport.
*$296,100 to complete purchasing of land within the Runway Protection Zones at Shelby-Cleveland County Regional Airport.
*$1,440,000 to rehabilitate the runway and taxiway lighting at Stanly County Airport.
*$675,000 to replace the existing runway electronic approach localizer and glideslope guidance system at Statesville Regional Airport.
*$1,521,000 to rehabilitate airfield lighting at Triangle North Executive Airport (Louisburg).
*$2,828,700 to rehabilitate the taxiway and runway, and design and rehabilitate the aircraft apron pavement at Warren field (Washington).
*$326,785 to reimburse for land purchased and $2,922,750 for future construction of four new hangars and construction of a new apron and taxiway at Wayne Executive Jetport.

Airports and aviation-related industries contribute more than $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 NCDOT Division of Aviation is responsible for airport and aviation system planning and development, and provides funding to local communities for constructing and improving airports throughout the state.

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

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.

Grants Approved to Support 19 N.C. Airports

RALEIGH – The N.C. Board of Transportation has approved state and federal funds for much-needed improvements to 19 North Carolina airports.

The $10.2 million in funding will be used to provide improvements such as better lighting, longer runways and repairs to hangars and terminal buildings.

North Carolina airports serve as a vital economic engine connecting people and business enterprises with the world. For example, the funds will improve safety and customer service at the Edenton airport, says Harry Davis, manager of Edenton’s Northeastern Regional Airport.

“Right now, we’re having to use a fuel truck to fill up these aircraft,” Davis said. “Once we get this new pavement in, aircraft will be able to pull right up to the fueling area.  This is much safer and more convenient for the pilots that come through here.”

The N.C. Board of Transportation in its’ April and May meetings approved the funds for the following airports:

Albert J. Ellis (Richlands): $615,000 in additional funding for airfield lighting rehabilitation;

Anson County: $37,000 for new perimeter fencing around the terminal area;

Burlington-Alamance Regional: $1,080,000 reimbursement for a runway extension and related land acquisition;

Cape Fear Regional Jetport: $400,000 additional reimbursement funds for runway extension land;

Duplin County: $1,200,000 adjusted STI funding for runway widening and strengthening, improved lighting, and a new taxiway;

Elizabeth City Regional: $291,480 for drainage rehabilitation on the T-hangar taxilane;

Gastonia Municipal: $20,000 for runway alignment and new site alternatives analysis;

Hickory Regional: $915,000 for reconstruction of the north ramp following tornado damage in 2017;

Johnston County: $556,200 for drainage repair and rehabilitation;

Laurinburg-Maxton: $275,000 in additional funding for localizer replacement;

Lumberton Regional: $623,000 for terminal building site improvements; Martin County: $95,000 for beacon replacement;

Michael J. Smith Field (Beaufort): $71,000 in additional funding to update the Airport Layout Plan (ALP);

Moore County: $1,440,000 for rehabilitation of the airfield drainage system;

Northeastern Regional (Edenton): $540,550 for paving around a new fuel farm;

Raleigh-Durham International: $642,608 for design of a Remain Over Night (RON) apron rehabilitation;

Richmond County: $39,000 for obstruction clearing and fence replacement;

Rocky Mount-Wilson Regional: $304,920 for underground closure and removal of the old fuel farm, and $194,000 for preliminary engineering on a new taxiway and hangars;

Tri-County (Aulander): $875,000 towards construction of the new terminal building;

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.

Rouzer votes to reauthorize Federal Aviation Administration, bolster 7th District airports

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, with the support of Congressman David Rouzer, the House of Representatives passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (H.R. 4) – a five year, bipartisan reauthorization bill to provide long-term stability for the nation’s aviation community, bolster investment in airports across the country, improve America’s competitiveness, strengthen passenger protections, and ensure our aviation system is the safest in the world.

“The aviation industry supports 11.3 million jobs and generates $1.5 trillion in economic activity.  House passage of this bill is the latest in our ongoing efforts to strengthen and modernize our country’s infrastructure, a key component to growing our economy and creating jobs.  More than 47 million passengers fly to and from North Carolina each year, and the FAA Reauthorization Act is critical to airports of all sizes, such as Wilmington International Airport, Clinton-Sampson County Airport, Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport, Johnston County Airport, Columbus County Municipal Airport, Duplin County Airport, and Cape Fear Regional Jetport among many, many more throughout the state.”

The FAA Reauthorization Act eliminates red tape so that manufacturers are better able to innovate and compete in the global market, upgrades airport infrastructure systems to enhance flight experience, and makes improvements to federal disaster relief programs so that our communities are better prepared for, and can recover quicker from, hurricanes and other natural disasters.