According to a state report, the economic impact for the Moore County Airport has increased to more than $107 million, placing the airport in the top 15 of the General Aviation airports in North Carolina.
This data was recently published by the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation, and followed the State of Aviation biannual report developed by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Transportation Research and Education. The impact during the last study was $93 million, which shows an increase of $14 million over the past three years.
In total, the economic impact of all of North Carolina’s public airports, which includes 10 commercial service airports and 62 general aviation airports, is $72 billion. That includes 330,000 jobs, generating $23 billion in personal income.
“Moore County Airport continues to be an engine of economic growth and opportunity for the people of Moore County,” said Mike Jones, chairman of the Moore County Airport Authority. “That’s our number one job, and we take it very seriously. Every investment we make at the airport is focused on the potential impact that decision will have on our local economy.”
Along with the fiscal impact, the local airport is directly responsible for creating nearly 600 local jobs, $36 million in personal income and over $4 million in state and local tax revenues. Today, the airport hosts two flight schools, an active aircraft maintenance facility, and eight private aeronautical businesses. The airport also is home to the only full-motion three-axis general airplane simulator in the state, which is helpful for training new pilots. More than 100 customers permanently park their aircraft at the airport. Additional hanger space is now under construction, and additional ramp space and larger “corporate” hangers are on the drawing board as part of the airport’s strategic plan for the future.
“There are so many great things happening at the airport these days,” says Moore County Airport’s Director Ron Maness, who returned to manage the airport for a fourth time in 2022. “I’m really excited to be opening our 17 new hangers next month, and soon we’re going to be bidding out the construction of an additional hangar for larger aircraft.”
According to Maness, the airport has a new maintenance building in the works, the runway is being completely refurbished, and an energy-saving state-of-the-art LED lighting system soon will replace the 30-year-old incandescent lights lining the runway and taxiways.
The airport also has begun planning for the upcoming 2024 U.S. Open Championship, which will bring more than 2,000 private flights to the Pinehurst area during the championship week.
Planned renovations include a long-needed update to the main terminal building, a new entrance at the front of the building and an improved arrival experience for arriving passengers. Additional elements will improve the passenger flow through the terminal, relocate the car rental desk to a more efficient space, update the waiting room seating and décor, and refurbish the restrooms.
Other longer-range plans include major expansions of the airport facilities, the addition of a restaurant, the possible deployment of a larger passenger terminal and many new corporate hangars.