Coastal Carolina Regional Airport expansion begins

CRAVEN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -The Coastal Carolina Regional Airport is starting a major terminal expansion project, it’s a part of the multi-faceted master plan designed for the airport’s long-term functionality.

Airport officials say the project will increase the size of the facility by about 20%.

The project will include several new amenities including gates, airplane boarding bridges, terminal entrance canopy, enhanced security screening checkpoint area, modern restrooms, baggage claim belts, an area for service dogs, and energy-efficient enhancements.

Airport Director Andrew Shorter said money to support the expansion is made possible through the FAA airport grant process, funding from the state of North Carolina, and local airport matching funds.

Tom Raif is a New Bern resident and frequent flyer through the airport. He’s excited about the expansion.

“I think it’s great that they’re going to expand things to make it more comfortable and easier to get through,” Raif said. “Anything to help speed up time and, as always, security is a must.”

Shorter says the airport appreciates all of the amenities coming with the expansion of the airport.

“Ultimately, expanding and extending the runway will lead to more robust future service here and larger airplanes,” Shorter says. “This plan is about building for the future, for this region… this region is growing. We want to be able to serve these communities.”

As the airport looks to increase comfortability and access for passengers, the expansion will allow for opportunities to increase the number of passengers they can serve daily.

“Part of this plan is about increasing capacity and that’s what the forecast show moving into the future,” Shorter said. “We would think that not only can we handle that additional traffic, but we think that it’ll help stimulate additional traffic.”

The airport will remain in operation during the construction.

The project should be completed by late summer 2024.

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