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Fayetteville Regional Airport updating hangar space, security system, terminal

$2.97 million grant funds upgrades, including making room for possible new airline

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A nearly $3 million grant from the state will help Fayetteville Regional Airport add hangar space, beef up security — and maybe even make room for another airline to operate.

Earlier this month, the Fayetteville City Council accepted the $2.97 million grant from the N.C. Department of Transportation.

“It is a blessing to get those types of dollars from the state,” airport Director Toney Coleman said Monday. “The legislators have realized that there are some revenues that have been generated on airports that needed to be returned to the airports. They found a way to do that.

“In the past, they were giving the commercial service airports about $75 million a year. This year is the first year they went to the $100 million recurring amount,” Coleman said.

Most airports in the state will use the funding to pay for infrastructure improvements or pay off debt, he said.

Because the Fayetteville airport has no debt, Coleman said, the money will go to about four different projects.

The primary project — for which roughly 85% of the state funding is budgeted — will pay for the construction of a 14-unit Tee hangar, he said.

“We’re currently building an 8-unit Tee hangar, but that’s already funded,” he said. “We’re going to add about another 14 units because we have noticed across the state there is a lack of general aviation hangar space. We’re going to address that issue.”

A Tee hangar, also known as a T-hangar, is an enclosed structure designed to protect aircraft in storage.

Coleman said the airport has received its initial allocation from the state DOT grant agreement. Disbursement of the funding will be in equal portions per quarter.

“We’re, like, super thankful to the legislature. Now is not the time to be greedy,” Coleman said.

In terms of security upgrades, Coleman said, the airport administration wants to make sure it has adequate coverage of its paid-parking lot and rental car parking lot. And the security camera system in the terminal will be upgraded.

“The safer we can keep the flying public, the better off we’ll all be,” he said. “It fulfills what is an airport director’s primary function, which is providing for safe and secure operations of the airport. If there is a security issue that develops, people tend not to fly out of that particular airport, wherever it is. We just want people to know that we’re doing everything we possibly can to keep them safe. …”

Improvements are also planned for terminal infrastructure, Coleman said, including a build-out of additional space to accommodate a new airline.

“We’re in the middle of terminal renovations — Phase 2 right now — so we’re going to build out that space for a new airline before they ever say they want to come here,” he said. “We need to be ready when the time comes. We’ve already built out new spaces for the existing airlines — for Delta and American.”

Additional projects also are planned, including roof work over the airport concourse and baggage claim area. A large digital display on a wall in the baggage claim area would replace an older Golden Knights picture, according to Coleman.

When people come into that area of the airport, they will see “things that are going on in Fayetteville. It will not be static,” he said. “It will allow us more flexibility in this new age, so we don’t just have a big static picture there.”

Other plans call for an internally lighted “Fayetteville Regional Airport” sign to be installed on the front of the building.

Michael Futch covers Fayetteville and education for CityView. He can be reached at mfutch@cityviewnc.com.

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