NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) Coastal Carolina Regional Airport (EWN) announced they will be in receipt of a $4.9 million Airport Improvement Program (AIP) grant to construct a new ARFF station.
“People that fly out of here often understand that we’re starting to reach the limits this facility can handle,” said Airport Director Andrew Shorter.
The grant would create one central building for firefighters and their equipment.
“They currently operate out of offices inside the terminal. There’s training in the conference room, and the truck is located outside just a few steps away,” said Shorter.
Moving the operation to a new building frees up much-needed space inside the terminal.
“This is a pre-9/11 designed building, so it really wasn’t designed with the current TSA requirements in mind. We’ll free up space to reconfigure the TSA checkpoints to allow them to be more urgent and effective as well as add more holding space,” said Shorter.
The new facility would also put them on the same track as airports across the state.
“Right now, in the state of North Carolina there are 10 commercial service airports and we are the only one that does not have a stand-alone aircraft rescue and firefighting facility,” said Shorter.
This is an additional round of airport funding that the federal government has made available outside of the normal annual AIP funding process.
Airport Director Andrew Shorter mentioned that the Coastal Carolina Regional Airport Authority’s leadership, foresight, and willingness to forward-fund the design phase helped EWN compete for this round of grant funding.
Shorter noted, “With this news, in a 14-month period we have been awarded three AIP grants totaling more than $11 million. Add to that the approximately $6 million from the State of North Carolina and we feel justifiably proud that EWN is doing what is required to position this facility to meet the future aviation demands of the residents and visitors to eastern North Carolina while enhancing our $363 million annual economic impacts.”
Shoter also told WNCT the airport will start the bidding process for construction after the holiday season.
For more information on future growth visit flyEWN.com.