LUMBERTON — The Lumberton Regional Airport has received a $570,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to update and enhance safety with better lighting.
The grant was announced in a statement by U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan.
Pusser said that the airport’s current lighting system has become unreliable, adding that some of the lighting is almost 40 years old.
“Increased safety and the better efficiency of the new lights will be the greatest benefits,” said Joshua Pusser, the manager of the airport. “Currently both of our runway end identifier lights are out of service due to lightning strikes. Getting these lights working again will greatly improve safety when planes are landing in low visibility.”
Pusser said the airport also hopes to upgrade all of its lights with more energy-efficient LEDs, which will save the airport money on electricity costs.
“I’m pleased that Lumberton Regional Airport will receive this funding to make key improvements that will help ensure safety and durability,” Hagan said in the statement. “We must continue to make investments in infrastructure that will keep North Carolina competitive in a global economy.”
The airport is used mainly by private pilots, but will accommodate some larger commercial aircraft. It was the home of an annual airshow that was established in 2003 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ initial flight at Kitty Hawk, but the airshow is in limbo. It was moved to the fall for 2011 but was cancelled because of weather, and is not planned for this year.
The FAA began the State Block Grant Program in 1989 to help non-primary commercial service, reliever, and general aviation airports make improvements. North Carolina was one of the first three states to participate in the program.