RALEIGH — The N.C. Board of Transportation earlier this month approved state and federal grants for safety improvements to six North Carolina airports, including Duplin County’s
More than $2.1 million in funding will be used to provide upgrades such as new lighting and improved aprons for aircraft parking.
At Davidson County Airport, funds will be used to replace an aging glideslope system. This crucial piece of safety equipment sends a signal to aircraft and lets pilots know if they are approaching the runway at too steep or two shallow of an angle.
“The new glideslope system is vital not only for the safety of pilots, but for economic development opportunities as well,” said John Gray, chairman of the Davidson County Airport Authority. “Anyone looking to locate their aircraft or business here wants to know, above all else, that we have the fully functioning safety and navigational systems that they expect.”
The six projects the N.C. Board of Transportation approved are:
• $690,750 to design the runway, taxiway and apron rehabilitation, with apron expansion, at Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport
• $562,500 to replace the glideslope system at Davidson County Airport
• $157,500 to design an approach lighting system at Duplin County Airport
• $261,000 to design the parallel taxiway pavement rehabilitation at Kinston Regional Jetport,
• $180,000 for the design of an apron pavement rehabilitation at Mount Airy-Surry County Airport, and
• $270,000 for environmental assessments at Richmond County Airport.
The funds awarded do not necessarily represent the total cost of the project.
North Carolina airports serve as a vital economic engine connecting people and business enterprises worldwide. Airports and aviation-related industries contribute more than $52 billion to North Carolina’s economy each year, according to a 2019 report. They support 307,000 jobs, and generate more than $2.2 billion in tax revenue and more than $12.6 billion in personal income.
Last year, the N.C. Board of Transportation approved nearly $25 million in state and federal funding for 27 airports throughout the state, including Clinton-Sampson County Airport (CTZ). Sampson’s airport received $526,000 to rehabilitate pavement at the aircraft apron in the Fixed Base Operation area at the airport, jointly operated by the county and city.