02/25/07 — Airport's hangar open for business

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Airport's hangar open for business

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on February 25, 2007 2:12 AM

Construction is now complete on a new corporate jet hangar at Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport, which county and airport officials said will serve existing industries and bring more jobs to Wayne County.

Goldsboro-Wayne Airport Authority members and county commissioners gathered outside the new hangar Thursday to officially dedicate the new facility, which can comfortably fit four small- to mid-size corporate jets.

"There aren't many east of Charlotte that are nicer," Authority member Cleve Wilkins said.

The $700,000, 12,000-square-foot aircraft hangar, which took about four months to build, hasn't been open long, but has already found two occupants, proving its usefulness as an economic development tool, officials said.

"It makes sense to have a hangar available when businesses (and executives) come to town. We have two aircraft already, and we anticipate more," Wilkins said.

Authority member Otto Keesling said the construction of a new hangar has been a "labor of love."

"I've wanted this a long time. We want to bring corporate clients here," he said. "We've spoken to many corporations that said they wouldn't have come here without the airport."

That sentiment was echoed by county commissioners Atlas Price and Andy Anderson.

"This will play a great part in the economic development of Wayne County," Anderson said.

Authority member Dr. Harold Berk added that the county will also benefit from the tax revenues from aircraft that are based in the new hangar.

The airport authority also plans to extend its runway by 1,000 feet to accommodate larger aircraft and more traffic as the airport continues to expand.

The authority approved the long-term plans last January, but has not announced a date when the runway extension will begin. The runway is currently 5,500 feet, and the authority wants it to expand to 9,000 in the next 20 years.

County commissioners approved a plan Tuesday that will allow the airport to continue that growth. The plan rezones a majority of the land surrounding the airport to light industry, which will limit the amount of development near the runway.