Chapel Hill officials recognize value of GA airports

May 15, 2008

Chapel Hill officials recognize value of GA airports

By AOPA ePublishing staff

In an encouraging move, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill officials are working to get a bill introduced into the state’s general assembly that would allow the university to create airport authorities in Orange County.

This would allow the university’s 16 campuses and health care system to form airport authorities designed to create and run general aviation airports and make them eligible for federal funding.

“The university is taking a step in the right direction,” said Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. “We’ve worked vigorously to protect the university’s Horace Williams Airport and advocated for a replacement facility if the university ultimately closes the airport. If the university’s proposal becomes a bill and is enacted into law, it would make it easier to build a replacement.”

This new action is important because the university is working on moving its medical flight operations to Raleigh-Durham International. Once the move is complete, there are no more obstacles to stop the university from closing Horace Williams.

“General aviation access to Chapel Hill is vital to the North Carolina aviation system,” Pecoraro said. “The university seems to be coming around and is now pursuing an active role in developing that system.”

May 15, 2008