Raleigh Executive Jetport is the corporate gateway to the Triangle

Lee County's Raleigh Executive Jetport offers companies a quick, convenient and state-of-the-art alternative to RDU, opening the area up to increased economic development opportunities.

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Abbey Slattery
, WRAL Digital Solutions
This article was written for our sponsor, Raleigh Executive Jetport.

Raleigh-Durham International airport may be the most recognizable airport in the area, but it's far from the only aviation hub that serves the Research Triangle region.

For companies looking to bypass the traffic at RDU without sacrificing space, quality, and proximity to the cities, Raleigh Executive Jetport — located just off US-1 in Lee County, between Sanford and Cary — is an increasingly sought-after alternative.

"As the region grows, both RDU and Raleigh Exec get the benefits of being more successful. In Raleigh Exec's case, if I'm not taking a commercial flight and coming in on a private plane to the Triangle — whether it's Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Sanford, or anywhere else in the area — one of the best places to fly into is Raleigh Exec," said Charles Hayes, an economic developer and managing partner at Hayes Group Consulting. "It's really second to none, and when you fly in there you get first-class service. And as far as drive time, it ends up being a pretty similar distance to those major hubs as RDU."

Since Raleigh Exec has no commercial traffic, landing planes don't need to worry about getting the all-clear from air traffic control to land or long taxi times once they've made it to the ground. Because of this, flying in and out of the airport is more streamlined than at a larger airport like RDU. As soon as a plane lands, the passengers can be on the ground and on their way to their destination within minutes.

For companies looking to bring in major clients or attract new business to the area, Raleigh Exec's services are a major selling point.

"As we move into a more modern era, companies — and especially manufacturing companies — may not keep an inventory of parts, so a lot of component parts are handled through air freight. Air freight operators can deliver those parts at a lower cost than other airports because they don't have to pay landing fees or docking fees," said Steven Stroud, senior executive vice president at NAI Carolantic Realty, Inc. "Raleigh Exec is much more accessible for freight carriers to fly into since their trucks can access the planes and offload much easier without going through all of the security. As more and more companies start to use their space, I think it'll attract other companies to relocate to the area."

Both Stroud and Hayes agree the location, operating cost, and convenience of Raleigh Exec make it a more than suitable alternative to RDU. But with a recent upgrade completed — a 6,500-foot long runway, and vacant space ready for new clients, Raleigh Exec has paved the way for itself to be more than just an alternative —it's also shaping up to be a unique corporate gateway to the Triangle region.

Already, Stroud has received glowing reviews from business partners that have flown through Raleigh Exec.

"Operating general aviation there is literally a fraction of the cost compared to Raleigh-Durham. When I deal with clients that fly into Raleigh Exec, they just rave about it," said Stroud. "Not only that, but the pilots that fly those clients in are also very complimentary of the airport because of its convenience and accommodations, and the brand new terminal building they just finished that includes a pilot's lounge."

While the Lee County area already boasts major companies like Tyson, Caterpillar and Moen, Raleigh Exec's capability opens the county up to even more economic opportunities.

Stroud and Hayes both largely credit the current and future success of Raleigh Exec with the forward-thinking nature of the airport's management.

"This was such an important addition to the economic development model for tons of companies in the Triangle. You'll see more and more companies — as they learn about Raleigh Exec and the advantages of using it — going in that direction," said Stroud. "Air travel will become increasingly important as we go forward, and that airport is going to be a major factor in having companies choose our area for major economic development opportunities."

This article was written for our sponsor, Raleigh Executive Jetport.


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