Council Approves Blue Line Aviation Expansion

Rendering of the proposed Blueline Aviation facility across from the Johnston County Regional Airport on Swift Creek Road. Courtesy Town of Smithfield

SMITHFIELD – The Smithfield Town Council approved a conditional rezoning application and satellite annexation request from Blue Line Aviation on Swift Creek Road.

The company received approval to rezone 14.43 acres of land they own across from the Johnston County Regional Airport to a Planned Unit Development (PUD). The development would occur in three phases. It includes plans for a residential dormitory for students in their pilot-training school, classroom and office space, hotel, and a flex industrial / office site.

Phase one includes a parking lot for the Blueline Aviation facility and a 28-room dormitory/classroom building, expandable for an additional 24 rooms and associated parking. The remaining phases include an approximate 85 room two-to-three story hotel and flex industrial building.

Blue Line Aviation plans to develop this 14 acre parcel across from the Johnston County Regional Airport. Johnston County GIS Screenshot

During the October 2022 rezoning hearing, town council members Sloan Stevens and Roger Wood wanted to make sure there would be adequate safety measures in place for a crosswalk on Swift Creek Road from the airport to the new Blueline facility. Town staff suggested flashing lights or other safety equipment may be needed on Swift Creek Road, as allowed by the NC DOT, for safety at the crosswalk.

Following approval of the rezoning application, the board voted to accept a voluntary satellite annexation request of the 14 acre site.

In July, the Smithfield Planning Board voted to deny the rezoning request. However, between the July planning board meeting and October town council meeting, Blueline Aviation amended their original plan to address fire code and parking issues, while increasing landscaping, which helped win unanimous council approval.

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