Approximately 50 people attended an informational workshop on the updated layout plan for Davidson County Airport on Monday.
The Davidson County Airport Authority and the North Carolina Division of Aviation unveiled its proposed airport layout plan at the Richard Childress Hangar at the Davidson County Airport on Monday.
John Gray, chairman of the Davidson County Airport Authority Board of Directors, said the current 20-year development plan for the airport is expiring and they are required to develop a new 20-year plan by the Federal Aviation Administration.
He said members of the board have been working with members of the community and other leaders for the past year and a half to identify needs at the airport.
“We had a meeting in June we invited community members, business owners, to get their ideas and input on what should or should not be included in this plan,” Gray said. “More hanger was up there, and still is. We have a waiting list of 47 pilots waiting for hangar space.”
Michael Player, project engineer for Talbert, Bright & Ellington, said the proposed 20-year plan, includes the addition of eight new corporate hangars, a 16-unit T-hangar, and expansion of the current terminal. The plan also takes into consideration of additional corporate and t-hangars in the future.
These additions will be added in five-year increments, starting with five additional corporate hangars; terminal updates and redesigning of the taxiway to prevent direct access to the runway.
The following phase would see the addition of the 16-unit T-hangar space and four additional corporate hangars.
“Everything is inside (the) property line, nothing outside of current property owned by the airport,” Player said.
Gray said there are no plans to acquire more property to make the additions at the airport, except for a possible small parcel of unoccupied land for weather and navigation equipment to meet FAA requirements.
“Right now we don’t have enough large aircraft, so we don’t have any real expansion plans as far as needing more land,” Gray said. “We are not expanding into residential areas or across roads; we are going to stay withing the confines of the property we already own.”
He said if the number of larger aircraft landing at Davidson County Airport increased, it may include extending the runway, but there is no need for that in the current plan.
Billy Stewart, who owns property near the airport, said he attended the workshop because he wanted to come see the plans for the airport. He said property owners who are still concerned about whether the plans will impact adjacent property should come and ask questions.
“I just came to see what was really going on,” Stewart said. “I don’t think they will bother us; people need to come and listen for themselves.
Another local property owner in the Green Needles neighborhood, who did not wish to be named, said she was glad the plans do not include acquiring nearby property, but she is still skeptical.
“I’m sort of relieved because the rumors were they were going to take the whole neighborhood,” the resident said. “The fear of the people in Green Needles is they will use eminent domain and just come and say get out. There are still a lot of people who are worried; (the airport authority) can still change it.”
Gray said that with the addition of more hangers, the airport can increase its funding through leases and fuel tax. He said it will be a good economic driver for the county.
“The one thing I want people to know is this is an economic connector to the county’s economy,” Gray said. “We are here to serve leisure craft, as well as aircraft for business and industry; more hangers bring in more money.”
Sharon Myers can be reached at (336) 249-3981, ext. 228, or email@example.com