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Pitt Greenville Regional Airport gets $3.5 million grant - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Pitt Greenville Regional Airport gets $3.5 million grant

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GREENVILLE, N.C. -

Runways at Pitt-Greenville Regional Airport are about to get a big upgrade.

It's probably the last thing on your mind when your plane touches down on the runway: what exactly is going on underneath it? But it's something Operations Manager Gordon Rowell thinks about every day.

"Currently we have utility lines that are in the way of that extension. They're within that 670 feet," said Rowell.

The Pitt-Greenville Regional Airport is working to extend its runway to meet a new Federal Aviation Administration standard. A new $3.5 million grant from the FAA and backed by Sen. Kay Hagan is expected to help the project take off.

"I believe it's critically important that we continue to invest in infrastructure such as our airports that both boost our North Carolina economy and employ so many people in our great state," said Hagan, (D) NC.

Even though there are plans to extent the runway, the new grant is really going toward moving utility lines at the north end of the runway.

It's a project with an estimated cost of $2.2 million. The rest of the grant will go toward tree removal. Still, Rowell says the growth of the airport depends on the people.

"It's the population and the flying public of Greenville that determines how big of an airport lands. It's not necessarily how big the runway is," said Rowell.

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