07/14/04 — Mount Olive runway plan endorsed

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Mount Olive runway plan endorsed

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on July 14, 2004 1:59 PM

The Wayne County Transportation Committee has endorsed an extension of Mount Olive Airport's runway.

The group of city, county and business representatives voted unanimously Tuesday in support of plans to lengthen the runway from 3,700 feet to 5,000 feet.

Airport representatives had sought the approval in May, but committee members had wanted to be assured that the expansion would not interfere with Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's air traffic.

Since then, committee members have heard from Brig. Gen. Eric Rosborg, commander of the 4th Fighter Wing, and Jimmie Edmundson of the Seymour Support Council, both of whom do not oppose the plans.

Mount Olive Manager Ray McDonald assured the committee that it need not worry about the airport's expansion. "I can guarantee you that we would not do anything that might harm that base," he said.

Goldsboro Councilman Chuck Allen made the motion to endorse the project, on the condition the airport committee keep the county transportation committee and Air Force personnel updated on progress. The committee was unanimous in its support.

The airport needs to lengthen its runway for safety concerns. Many aircraft insurance policies will not allow landings on runways less than 5,000 feet. The Federal Aviation Administration has been encouraging all N.C. airports to meet this minimum standard.

The committee also voted Tuesday to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to build a deceleration lane on U.S. 70 to allow turns onto Brentwood Drive, which is just west of Goldsboro.