June 6, 2017
North Carolina’s Raleigh Executive Jetport (TTA) plays an important part of the surrounding region’s economic growth, a community asset with quantifiable value.
For example, a 2014 economic benefits study conducted by the state of North Carolina found TTA provides more than $32 million in economic impact to the local community, and is responsible for more than 300 indirect and direct jobs. It is also home to Wings of Carolina, one of the largest flying clubs in the country, with more than 450 members.
While only 29 aircraft were based at the airport when it opened in 2000, nearly150 aircraft are now based there, and it serves as a designated reliever for Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU).
“We believe the airport opened at a time of pent-up demand from general aviation that wasn’t being met by nearby airports,” said Bob Heuts, Raleigh Executive Jetport’s airport director. “The airport is relatively close to the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, which is one of the fastest-growing areas in the country, and growth at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport is pushing general aviation operations out to other airports like ours.”
The airport’s 6,500-foot runway is popular with business travelers in the Raleigh-Durham Research Triangle area, who wish to avoid the congestion of Raleigh-Durham International Airport.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation and Department of Commerce, along with the city of Sanford, NC and Lee County, have invested more than $8 million for an airport expansion, necessary to meet increasing demand. The projects will widen a taxiway, improve taxiway connectors to runways and allow space for up to six new business aviation hangars. Officials believe the projects represent a good return on investment – one that will attract more business aviation activity, helping raise local tax revenues.
“The state of North Carolina has supported good general aviation airports, and these investments are a reflection of that,” said Heuts.