WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) – The Washington-Warren Airport recently received a $6.2 million grant to help repair and enhance conditions.
This grant money from the North Carolina Division of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration will work to repave the runways, taxiways and the tarmac area.
The airport has been in the Beaufort County community since the 1940s and over time has been neglected, according to staff.
Though the office facility received a full remodel a few years ago, employees say there are still many areas they would like to see improvement outside.
Airport officials say current conditions could cause damage to airplane propellers and jet engines.
They say after the airport is repaved pilots can have confidence in the safety of the facility.
“It is going to bring more customers, revenue and confidence.”Earl Malpass, Washington-Warren Airport manager
Currently, Washington-Warren is ranked fourth in the state out of 72 small airports for conditions; however, officials are expecting that to change soon.
“I am hoping after everything is paved we will not only be number one in customer service, and with the cost and fair prices of things, but will also be number one as far as the condition of the runway,” said Malpass.
The City of Washington will have to pay 10 percent of the grant, but officials believe it will be worth the investment.
In fact, finances have also improved at the airport in 2019.
The airport has been operating at a $250,000 deficit over the past several years, yet this year, that deficit is expected to be cleared for the first time.
Airport officials are hoping the grant will continue to help improve finances as well as physical conditions.
According to the NC Department of Transportation’s 2019 Division of Aviation Annual Report, the airport brings in around $22 million in business revenue, 180 local jobs and $8.1 million in personal income.
The construction is set to begin next Spring.