Economic impact of Dare airport examined

Published 8:04 am Wednesday, July 24, 2019

For the second time, Dare County’s Board of Commissioners heard an economic impact assessment about expanding the Dare County Regional Airport.

Brent Lane with Aerogeny Strategies first delivered the report June 3, but a technological glitch caused the presentation not to be recorded.

Lane told the commissioners the aviation industry is changing. As a result, status quo at the airport cannot be sustained.

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Lane’s report explores the airport operations, businesses at the airport and aviation-enabled economic activity. He found that 85 percent of the airport’s activity is “air commerce” flights of non-local passengers and cargo.

The local maritime industry and tourism businesses use air commerce. Customers of the boat building industry fly in as do offshore anglers and tournament participants and event goers. The total air taxi share of activity at the Dare airport is 59 percent.

The report builds the economic case for extending the primary runway from the current 4,300 feet to 5,800 feet. A small amount of land would be used, but the majority of the extension would be over water.

The estimated cost is $30 million. Under current programs, Dare County’s share of that cost would be $3 million with national and state programs paying $27 million, reported Lane.

Lane’s entire presentation started airing on CurrentTV Wednesday, July 17.



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