By Erin Smith, BladenOnline.com
The Elizabethtown Airport is a hub of activity as construction has begun on the taxiway project and work is progressing on the new airport terminal. The taxiway, when completed, will access four large industrial sites, said Town Manager Eddie Madden.
The taxiway, which will connect the Elizabethtown Industrial Park to the airport, will measure approximately 1,000 feet and is funded with grants from the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division on Aviation and the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The estimated completion date is October, said Madden.
There is also an extension to the existing Ben Greene Industrial Drive being constructed which will end in a cul-de-sac, said Madden. The extension of Ben Greene Industrial Drive will allow motor vehicle access to four large industrial sites.
The town has also received notification they have been approved for a runway extension project at the airport as well, said Madden.
“They (NC Division on Aviation) want to shift the landing zone down 300 feet,” said Madden. The reason for the shift is because of safety concerns due to the landing zone being in close proximity to the NC 87 Bypass and the overall length of the runway.
Madden said the town will add about 800 feet to the runway to allow for the shift of the landing zone and to extend the runway slightly.
“We’ve already acquired the property. We’ve cleared trees and obstructions,” said Madden.
He said the design phase for the runway extension will begin in July 2018 and construction will begin in July 2019.
Construction is also progressing on the new airport terminal building as well. The new building will measure 4,500 square feet and is being constructed on the site of the old terminal. The new building will feature office space, a conference room, a pilot’s lounge, classroom space, restroom facilities, kitchen space, shower facilities, and storage space. The projected completion date for the airport terminal is October 2018.
The terminal project is being funded with a $1.2 million grant from the North Carolina Division of Aviation.
The former terminal building was sold and moved off the site.