Two local projects were included in $24.7 million in funding by the N.C. Board of Transportation for improvements at 27 airports in the state.
For the Dare County Regional Airport, $585,000 was allotted to rehabilitate apron pavement to match the current strength of the runway and taxiways, and $361,800 to update the airport layout plan.
The Currituck County Regional Airport will receive $426,600 to rehabilitate pavement on the north apron and $323,100 to update the airport layout plan.
The $24.7 million in funding will be used throughout the state 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 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.”
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.