NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) – An airport in Eastern North Carolina is undergoing a major transition, hoping to bring more business and travelers to the area. 

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport’s terminal expansion is now underway. By summer 2024, the terminal will be completely different with fresh new upgrades and a brand-new look.  

“The passenger forecast showed that by 2040 timeframe, we’ll have nearly 200,000 passengers a year going through here, which is about a 70% increase from what we have now,” said the Airport Director at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport, Andrew Shorter. 

As the number of people traveling through the airport grows each year, so does the need for expansion. 

“We have to plan for that and it’s all about capacity. FAA is very interested in making sure you have the proper capacity for what’s happening,” said Shorter.  

With funding from the FAA and the state, the plan is in action. The terminal expansion will include new gates, a new entrance canopy, new restrooms, an area for service animals and most significantly – brand-new jet bridges.  

“The biggest thing that customers or passengers will see is boarding bridges. So that’s something that we haven’t had here at EWN in the past, but that will allow people to both in-plane and de-plane the aircraft without going outside,” said Shorter.  

Flights are currently being processed in a temporary hold room while crews work to construct the new space. 

“That’s kind of the configuration we’re in now, which will be that way for 18 months, as they actually tear down part of the terminal, and then rebuild this new area adding about 20% more space,” said Shorter.  

A bigger space and a more modern feel are what they’re ultimately aiming for. 

“It’ll be a good enticement for future airlines to come in here and understand that we have the latest and greatest. And we have a full modern terminal that can easily be adapted to new airline operations,” said Shorter.  

The first phase of the project will cost about $26 million.