The North Carolina Department of Transportation is funding $1.2 million for airfield and lighting rehabilitation to the Asheboro Regional Airport as a part of its apron rehabilitation project.
According to City Engineer Michael Leonard, the main reason for the regional airport project is for energy efficiency and because the system is starting to fail. “Our current system is from the 70s, so we have been adding things as the runway has been extended. We are updating all existing lane lighting from the old system, exchanging pipe bulbs for LED bulbs, as well as new wiring and main panel box.”
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The department’s rehabilitation projects were created to help airports attract new jobs and businesses to their communities, increase airport capacity, and improve safety for pilots and passengers.
In a February meeting, the board approved state and federal grants for safety and airfield improvement projects at 10 North Carolina airports. In March, the board approved the awards for each airport.
Communication Officer James Pearce believes these projects are important because they allow the 72 airports to continue serving as vital economic hubs for their communities.
“Most corporate aviation departments have specific rules about which airports they can and cannot fly into, based on different levels of airfield safety assets,” Pearce said. “So every time an airport adds a new level of safety protection, it allows more and more aircraft to use that airport.”
According to Pearce, funding awards are on an as-needed basis. The department works closely with airports to identify any issues or needs and acquire the funding needed from federal, state, or local sources.
“Last month, funds were awarded to those 10 airport projects because those were the ones NCDOT and the airports involved were ready to get moving on,” Pearce said.
City officials expect the project to start within the next two to three weeks and are grateful to expand their airport facilities.