Special to Iredell Free News
RALEIGH – During its January meeting, the N.C. Board of Transportation approved state funding for various safety and airfield improvement projects at nine North Carolina airports.
More than $279,000 in state funding has been awarded for projects that help the airports increase capacity, attract new jobs and businesses to their communities, and improve the safety for pilots and passengers.
At Statesville Regional Airport, for example, the funds go towards replacing the airport’s glideslope and localizer, two vital safety mechanisms that help pilots land in low visibility conditions. The current equipment has reached the end of its operating life.
The grants the N.C. Board of Transportation approved provide:
♦ $130,473 in additional funds to Statesville Regional Airport to replace the glideslope and localizer.
♦ $148,539 toward the Airport Safety Enhancement Program, which helps to provide matching funds for federal safety grants at rural airports. These funds are available for safety projects at Columbus County, Hyde County, Jackson County, Martin County, Montgomery County, Mount Olive Municipal, Northeastern Regional (Edenton) and Richmond County Airports.
North Carolina’s 72 public airports serve as vital economic engines connecting people and business enterprises with the world. Airports and aviation-related industries contribute more than $61 billion to North Carolina’s economy each year, according to the 2021 State of Aviation report. They support 373,000 jobs, generate more than $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenue and provide more than $15 billion in personal income.
The funds awarded do not necessarily represent the total cost of the project.