Tuesday, April 16, 2024

ILM receives $4M grant from FAA, to help with road and curb expansions

Wilmington International Airport received a $4 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration this week. (Port City Daily/Shea Carver)

WILMINGTON — Wilmington International Airport received a $4 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration this week. 

READ MORE — ILM is fastest growing NC airport according to latest numbers

The Federal Airport Authority Airport Terminal grant award will be used as part of the airport’s long-term efforts to match growth under the five-year vision planned released in 2023. The funds will partially cover road and curb improvements

ILM Airport ILM Airport Director Jeff Bourk said it included “creating more room for commercial vehicles and shuttles.” The rest of the project would be paid for by a $22-million state grant, Bourk explained. 

The latest expansion is part of the airport’s five-year, multi-million capital program. The ultimate goal of the program is to replace old infrastructure, provide better parking and traffic flow, expand accessibility, and improve drop-off and pick-up.

CATCH UP: More terminal space, parking deck part of ILM’s $165M five-year plan

The goal is to keep apace with increased passenger numbers.

In January this year, ILM became North Carolina’s fastest-growing airport with a 21% jump in travelers measured against that month the year prior. 2023’s numbers were also considerable, with 1.3 million passengers moving through the airport. 

The airport underwent an expansion two years ago increasing its terminal by 75%.

New plans include increasing terminal space from its 550,000 enplanement capacity to at least 750,000. It also will broaden the curb area in front of the terminal and add a 1,200-space parking deck.

The addition of a parking deck for rental cars will be partly paid for by the participating rental car companies’ fees. Companies funding the project include Enterprise, Alamo, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Dollar, and Thrifty. 

“We’re proud that the five-year capital project is funded through federal and state aviation grants and that no loans or local tax dollars are utilized,” Bourk said. 

The grants are part of $45 million issued to North Carolina airports this week, as announced by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg when he visited Charlotte Douglas International Airport and met with Governor Roy Cooper.

Other funds included:

  • $27 million to Charlotte Douglas International Airport to replace up to 16 passenger board bridges and associated ground power units and pre-conditioned air units.
  • $12 million to Raleigh-Durham International Airport to fund part of the Terminal 2 security checkpoint, baggage claim and the expansion of the federal inspection station.
  • $2 million to the Avery County Airport in Spruce Pine to help fund construction of a new general aviation terminal building to meet existing and future demand.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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