The Federal Aviation Administration is investing $2.5 million in the Pitt-Greenville Airport to fund infrastructure improvements and upgrades at the airport, the facility’s executive director said.
Betty Stansbury discussed the federal grant during Wednesday’s Pitt-Greenville Airport Authority Board meeting. “The paperwork arrived this morning for the grant,” Stansbury said. “Last month, the board authorized me to accept the grant.”
Stansbury said the grant funds will be used to make improvements to the airport’s runway, which are scheduled to begin next year.
“The runway is 25 years old,” she said. “So we are due for some maintenance.”
Stansbury said the funds also will be used to upgrade the runway’s landing lights and signs that help guide pilots during takeoffs and landings.
“We are switching to LED lighting, which will reduce our operational and maintenance costs,” Stansbury said. “The bulbs we use now have to be changed about every six months … the LED lights only have to be replaced after a few years.”
Earlier this month, the airport accepted a $1 million dollar grant that will be used for land acquisition and designs for a future expansion of the facility.
U.S. Rep G.K. Butterfield, D-3, in a news release said he was pleased the FAA “remains committed to improving air travel in the region.”
“The continued funding that Pitt-Greenville Airport has received is a key step in ensuring that the airport provides efficient and safe transportation options to its customers,” the release stated. “These funds will continue to spur job creation in Greenville, Pitt County and eastern North Carolina through construction contracts and long-term business activity.”
Also at Wednesday’s meeting:
• The board heard the airport’s financial statement for August. The airport’s revenues were $255,283 in August and expenses for the month were $233,101, resulting in a net profit of $22,182. In August of 2015, the airport’s revenues were $196,153 and expenses were $223,738, which resulted in a loss of $27,586 for that month;
• Stansbury gave a presentation to the board about Pitt-Greenville Airport’s “Find the 5%” initiative, which is intended to cut 5 percent, or $150,000, from the airport’s annual operating budget of $3 million. Stansbury said staff is looking for ways to cut unnecessary housekeeping, maintenance and operations costs to meet the $150,000 goal.