$500K earmarked for JetPort improvements

David Anderson

Staff Writer

November 13, 2009

Federal funds have been set aside for upgrades to the aircraft landing guidance system at Kinston’s airport.

U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., announced Friday that at least $500,000 has been earmarked to help defray the estimated $3.8 million cost of upgrading the Kinston Regional JetPort’s Instrument Landing System from a Category II to a Category III.

“What that means for us is virtually any type of aircraft will be able to land on this runway in virtually any type of weather,” Darlene Waddell, the GTP’s executive director, said during the announcement at the Global TransPark Center.

The ILS is an electronic system that allows pilots to land aircraft using only their instruments when the runway is not visible.

The airport currently serves no scheduled commercial airline but is used by commercial charters and private fixed wing aircraft and as a practice field for military aircraft.

Butterfield’s spokesman, Ken Willis, said the $500,000 was earmarked in the House’s annual transportation and housing appropriations bill for the 2010 federal fiscal year, which began Oct. 1.

The House passed their version in July, followed by the Senate’s passage of its version. Willis said the two bodies must still hammer out a final version, and that Butterfield is working to obtain more funding for the Kinston JetPort ILS upgrade.

“We want to get as much money as we can to help them finish that,” Willis said.

Butterfield, whose 1st District includes a portion of Lenoir County, was treated to a full update on the GTP from Waddell during his visit, as well as an update on construction at Spirit AeroSystems’ plant at the TransPark and the company’s local workforce development plans.

The congressman also took a tour of the Spirit site.

David Anderson can be reached at 252-559-1077 or danderson@freedomenc.com.

Here are several other planned upgrades for the GTP discussed Friday

Renovating airport terminal

Building “transverse taxiway” for access to runway from Spirit plant

Updating master plan

Seeking air cargo service

Seeking passenger air service

For more information, visit ncgtp.com

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