The Johnston County Airport was spotlighted during the Johnston County Commissioners monthly meeting held on January 4th.
Airport Director Ray Blackmon updated county leaders on the importance of the airport and also some of its needs. First opened in 1978, a total of 12 airplanes were based at the airport by the end of the first year of operations. The airport began with a 3,700 foot runway with no taxiway. The taxiway was added in 1994.
The airport, located of Swift Creek Road, now has 126 aircraft and 99 hangers. The runway is now 5,500 feet long and 100 feet wide with a full taxiway. Six businesses operate at the airport employing 245 employees, generating a payroll of $14 million each year, Blackmon said.
The Johnston County Airport has an annual economic impact of $62 million. $158,000 in tax revenue is generates from aircraft and hangers valued at $18.9 million.
Blackmon said airport officials would like to replace the Approach Light System in the near future, resurface the runway in the next 6 to 8 years, add a new corporate hanger, and additional perimeter fencing.
In the future, Blackmon would like to see the runway expanded to 6,000 feet and a $4 million project undertaken to develop 17 acres into hangers for an additional 100-120 aircraft.
Commissioner DeVan Barbour said the local airport was “as good a regional airport as there is.”
The airport currently has 5 full-time and 8 part-time employees.