Coastal Carolina Regional Airport expands tarmac

NEW BERN, NC (WITN) An airport here in the east celebrated the completion of a major project that will help pave the way for larger aircraft to use the airport.

The Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern cut the ribbon on the expansion and improvements recently made to the airport apron.

The apron is the section of tarmac where planes park and load and unload passengers.

Construction began back in October and the project wrapped up last week.

Officials say they were able to make the $5.5 million apron expansion possible through federal grants and with money from the NC General Assembly.

Andrew Shorter, Airport Director says, "By expanding this we've added about 50%. We went from about 4 acres of tarmac to 6 acres of tarmac and while we did that we changed it from asphalt to concrete, which is capable of handling heavier and larger airplanes."

Airport officials say this project is part of a larger plan that will improve passenger capacity improvements, holding areas, larger ticketing counters and a re-configured TSA checkpoint.