Coastal Carolina Regional Airport gets grant for upgrades

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Coastal Carolina Regional Airport is getting some upgrades after New Bern airport officials learned Tuesday night it got approved to receive a federal grant to fund several projects.

The airport’s director, Andy Shorter, said the airport’s 20-year-old terminal is too outdated to keep up with changes in the industry.

“If you are not planning for the future, you are literally moving backward because there is no sitting still in the airline aerospace industry,” Shorter said.

The Coastal Carolina Regional Airport is launching a master plan to accommodate a major shift in the industry: 100-seat planes.

Bigger planes mean more passengers flying in and out, so the size of almost every aspect of the airport needs to be larger.

Shorter said the airport needs to adapt to keep current airlines happy and attract more moving forward.

“Make sure all the facilities are modern and proper,” Shorter said. “Not only will we not lose the current services that we have, but we can look to gain additional and future services as time goes on.”

The town said they hope for more airlines, to keep New Bern competitive.

“It’s a very special asset to have in terms of economic development, economic vitality, and to promote tourism and future development and growth for the city of New Bern,” said Dallas Blackiston, New Bern alderman.

“Large companies around the country and around the world are investigating this area to start or move their business to, so that’s another thing make sure that we are availing this community of any kind of resources or opportunities that may exist,” Shorter said.

The director said once construction starts the projects will begin to build one on top of another.

He said at that point they may have to move the TSA areas and holding areas into portable buildings while they renovate the spaces, but they are going to work hard with engineers to make sure that the airport still maintains its normal daily operations.

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