Earlier this month, the NC Board of Transportation approved $2.1M in state and federal grants for safety improvements for multiple North Carolina Airports.
The Duplin County Airport is one of six airports across the state, and one of two in the east, that will be seeing improvements in the next year.
“We are very thankful for being selected for this project It greatly enhances our safety,” George Futrelle, Duplin County Airport Director, said.
The airport will be receiving $157,500 to fund improvements. The safety enhancements include a medium intensity approach lighting system, also known as the MALSR System.
“This grant is to design and bid a MALSR Unit, which is a navigational aid that serves as a lead in lights for the final approach for our runway 23, which is our primary instrument approach runway,” Futrelle said.
The MALSR System is used by pilots to align aircraft on the runway when landing.
“You have to have about 400 feet above the ground at 3/4 mile visibility before you can land, so in an instrument at meteorological conditions, I have to have those minimums in order to land,” Futrelle said.
According to Futrelle, this unit will decrease the minimum forward visibility for pilots to half a mile.
Grants have also been given to five other airports for improvements, including the Kinston Regional Jetport. It’s slated to receive $261,000 to design a parallel taxiway pavement rehabilitation.
“We are just looking forward to getting this project designed, and bid, and constructed,” Futrelle said.
According to Duplin County Airport officials, the new MALSR System will be ready by Spring of 2020