Local News

Runway At Global Transpark Open For Business

Posted December 17, 2002

— The longest commercial runway in the state is officially open. It is not at RDU International or in Charlotte, but rather in Kinston at the Global TransPark. Leaders of the troubled business park hope the latest investment will finally pay off.

The Global Transpark's new runway is more than two miles long and designed for giant cargo planes. Transpark leaders hope to begin landing them and some much-needed profit.

"It will take some time, but we are in discussions with at least one carrier that operates those types of aircraft, and we understand that they may make a decision as early as the second quarter of next year," acting director Charles Edwards said.

State and federal taxpayers have spent about $80 million on the Global Transpark. Except for the new runway and some new roads, there is not much to see.

"The expectations of this project got way out in front of what the delivery was," said Isaac Manning, a new consultant for the Transpark.

Manning helped a similar project in Texas make money.

"For the last eight years, we have been in the environmental permitting process and the construction process. Today, we're now open and up for business," he said.

According to records, about 44,000 air operations were recorded at the Transpark last year. Officials said they would like to double that amount in the next five years. They would also like to rely less on your wallet.

"Now, we are going to start generating income for ourselves and we hope in the next 2 to 2-1/2 years, this place will be paying for itself," said Nancy Stallings, director of the Global Transpark Foundation.

The runway cost about $35 million to build. State and federal governments plan to split the cost.


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