A recent report by the Airports Council International found that America’s airports require more than $128 billion in infrastructure upgrades by 2023, with more than 56 percent of the needs inside aging terminals. North Carolina’s airports are no different as nearly all are in dire need of repair and modernization in order to meet growing consumer demands for air travel. Recognizing this, the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT) has unveiled a new funding formula for the state’s airports that would ensure equitable sharing of state funding between rural and urban airports. Additionally, the new formula would base funding allocations of the economic impacts of each airport in their surround communities and would require timely spending reports on funded projects as a way to ensure that taxpayer funds are being utilized efficiently and effectively.
As key economic drivers in their communities, North Carolina’s airports generate nearly $52 billion in economic impact and support over 300,000 jobs in our state. In Pitt County alone, the Pitt-Greenville (PGV) airport contributes over $280 million to our local and regional economy while employing 1,650 of our friends, relatives, and neighbors. As such, the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber strongly supports House Bill 206, which codifies the new NC DOT funding formula into law. The Chamber strongly urges members of the General Assembly to pass HB206 so that our regional and international airports can maintain their place as economic engines throughout the state.