NEW BERN, NC. (WNCT) — New Bern’s airport is undergoing a major growth spurt.

In a year and a half, a new terminal at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport will be fully functional with four gates, ADA accommodations and energy-efficient lighting. According to Craven County Commissioner Jason R. Jones, the terminal is set to be 10,000 square feet.

Jones said the airport has been an economic staple, supplying 2,400 jobs for people in the area and raking in about $27 billion overall in tax revenue.

New Bern airport receives $5M federal grant to help with expansion

“This airport has continued to thrive during some very difficult times because of the collaboration between state, federal and local agencies,” Jones said at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony. “Because of that teamwork between everyone here, progress has been made and, it is my humble prayer before the Lord, that we will continue to see great progress here.”

New Bern airport receives funding from Golden LEAF Foundation

Congressman Greg Murphy was also in attendance at the groundbreaking. He said North Carolina is the “wrightful home” of aviation since the Wright Brothers first took flight in the early 1900s.

Airport’s terminal expansion now underway in New Bern

“We never stopped since that initial event in growing and appreciating our aviation, and really, now in Eastern North Carolina, especially in the last five to eight years, there’s really been an explosion with aviation in our part of the state compared to nationwide,” Murphy said.

Murphy added an expansion like this could be quite appealing to other states.

“That’s because everybody and their brother, if they saw this, they would want to move to Eastern North Carolina,” Murphy said.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2024.