Division of Aviation Awards $1.1 Million to Columbus County Municipal Airport for Apron, Taxiway Projects Friday, May 18, 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 two State Aid to Airports grants and a federal block grant totaling $1,145,332 to Columbus County Municipal Airport in Whiteville for capital improvement projects.

The airport received $671,606 in state grants for apron rehabilitation, construction of a parallel taxiway on the east end of the airport and a hangar taxi lane. It also received a federal block grant of $473,723 for the taxiway/taxi lane project. The existing aircraft parking apron is being repaired and repaved to help extend its life. In addition, the parallel taxiway will allow aircraft to safely travel from the runway to the aircraft parking area.

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 division is programming grants out into multiple sub grants to general aviation airports across the state for a variety of capital improvement projects.

Columbus County Municipal Airport is a general aviation facility that has an approximate $4.1 million a year cumulative total impact on North Carolina and supports about 15 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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