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Expansion of Onslow County Airport to stimulate the economy

RICHLANDS, NC (WITN) – Onslow County officials and officials announced a $ 29 million investment from the newly  -proved state budget to expand the runway at Albert J. Ellis Airport.

The expansion will allow larger aircraft to use the airport. A runway that can accommodate larger planes means more options for the county.

“This is one of those projects that we thought would be very good for Onslow County, good for the airport. Onslow County is in a great location, centrally between Wilmington, New Bern and east North Carolina, and there may be some opportunities here to become a hub for FedEx and UPS, ”said Phil Shepard, Onslow County representative.

Onslow County is hoping to attract the services of larger shipping companies offering overnight, fast deliveries.

The runway expansion will also allow larger airlines to offer direct flights from the airport to the west.

“We believe this runway extension will make it more efficient for airlines to operate here and there will be fewer wing weight restrictions. The airport will also be able to accommodate more cargo flights, larger aircraft such as charter flights. Also, marines come from all over the country. The more direct flights we get to different destinations, the better, ”said Chris White, Albert J. Ellis Airport Director.

Travelers traveling west, like Chance Sargent and his family, say they would  -preciate the chance on a direct flight.

“We’re going to Atlanta first for our layover, for about four hours. And obviously kids don’t like that, I don’t like that. I don’t want to do that. I’d rather go straight to where we’re going and just get there, ”said Sargent.

Albert J. Ellis is one of the largest airports in eastern North Carolina. On average, more than 326,000 passengers are handled here each year, more than at Pitt-Greenville and New Bern airports.

The expansion is expected to create over 3,400 new jobs and bring the county  -proximately $ 19 million in state and local tax benefits.

District officials say the runway expansion grant was the largest ever for Albert J. Ellis Airport and will have an economic impact of $ 565 million per year.

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