Airport improvements and terminal expansion on the way at Coastal Carolina Regional Airport

Travel

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — “I’m just glad that I’m able to fly.”

For Shay Olyn and her mother, flying is a necessity to see her brother stationed at Cherry Point. After months of not seeing him, they are happy things are slowly getting back to normal after the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think they’re doing a really good job at getting people in and out. I’m kind of glad that travel restrictions are kind of lowering,” said Olyn.

Coastal Carolina Regional Airport manager Eric Litchfield knows many other people are looking to take flight this summer.

“Everyone wants to get out now theyre tired of being cooped up,” he said.

The airport has several improvement projects in the works to get ready for the summer travel rush like the two-way traffic circle.

“So that you can get between Airport Road and Williams Road and Williams Road and Airport Road without ever having to get in front of the terminal again. which is a huge improvement for traffic flow,” said Litchfield.

Terminal bathroom renovations are set to start this summer and a terminal expansion project will start next year. The airport applied for the small community air service grant in March.

“If we win that grant, we’re going to work with Sky West to from here to Dulles (International Airport in Virginia) as our first step to bringing an air carrier into the area, and then we’re hoping to work with the ultra-low-cost carriers and maybe next summer see some new routes show up,” he said.

The airline industry is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Litchfield said things are improving. Right now more than 200 people are flying in and out of the airport daily.

“Compared to last April, that’s amazing. Only planning 680 people last year and almost every day this month we have more than 200 passengers fly,” he said.

Litchfield hopes with the upcoming projects those numbers will increase.

“Book your flight,” Litchfield said. “It’s time to book your flight before the prices go up honestly.”

The airport’s two-way traffic circle is set to be complete this week. Terminal renovations will start this summer.

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