Division of Aviation Awards $3.1 Million to Michael J. Smith Field for Runway, Taxiway Projects Friday, May 11, 2012

RALEIGH — As part of the N.C. Department of Transportation’s ongoing commitment to improving aviation in North Carolina, the N.C. Division of Aviation awarded State Aid to Airports and federal block grants totaling $3.1 million to Michael J. Smith Field in Beaufort for capital improvement projects.

The airport received $215,260 in federal block grant funds for an extension of Runway 8-26 from 4,249 feet to 5,000 feet, as well as construction of a partial parallel taxiway for that extension. A State Aid to Airports Program grant of $2,855,000 will be used to pay for the construction, as well as a new overlay on the runway. The runway is being extended and the pavement strengthened to allow larger corporate aircraft to use the airport.

The state funds came from the State Aid to Airports Program, which is NCDOT’s basic airport aid program. This program provides funds for the purpose of planning, acquiring, constructing or improving municipal, county and other publicly owned or controlled airports, and to authorize related programs of aviation safety, promotions and long-range planning.

The federal funds came from a $22,758,301 Federal Aviation Administration block grant that the Division of Aviation received at the end of September 2011. The DOA will be programming both grants out into multiple sub grants to general aviation airports across the state for a variety of capital improvement projects.

Michael J. Smith Field is a general aviation facility that has an approximate $40.7 million a year cumulative total impact on North Carolina and supports more than 450 jobs, based on a 2006 statewide economic impact study.

Since Gov. Bev Perdue took office in 2009, the Division of Aviation has awarded more than $125 million in funding to state airports. These funds enable airports across the state to provide improvements that support economic development and job opportunities.

For more information on North Carolina aviation, click here.

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