A major part of a runway-expansion project at Mount Airy-Surry County Airport will soon be getting off the ground.
“We are preparing to begin bidding for the road-relocation of Holly Springs Church Road,” John Springthorpe III, the chairman of the Mount Airy-Surry County Airport Authority, said recently.
Springthorpe added that it was hoped bid packages would be released this month for construction companies interested in that portion of the project. It is necessary in order for the local airport’s runway to be extended from its present 4,300 feet to 5,500 feet.
The moving of the nearby Holly Springs Church Road will take 18 months, Springthorpe said. Grant funding has been received from the state government for the construction, which will involve relocating that road north of its existing location from Janice Drive to Cottage Drive.
State funding, and a smaller amount of county money, was allocated to buy property needed in conjunction with the project.
Once the road relocation is completed, the work to extend the runway will begin, Springthorpe said.
This effort is viewed as a safety enhancement as well as a catalyst to open up this area to more business opportunities, Springthorpe and others with the airport’s governing board have said.
Some companies based in Surry County have had to fly in and out of Winston-Salem due to insurance company restrictions targeting runways of less than 5,000 feet. Weather conditions also can limit travel when shorter runways are involved.
The additional access provided by the longer runway, due to making it possible for more planes to land here, is expected to improve local officials’ ability to attract new industries that depend on aviation in their daily operations.
While moving Holly Springs Church Road is a key facet of the runway expansion, the project also will involve other elements such as extending a taxiway and moving a hangar.
Springthorpe also said in late December that economic growth from the runway extension could lead to additional expansions at the airport, including the construction of more hangars.
“I know all of our hangars are full and we have people doubled up,” he said.
Reach Tom Joyce at 719-1924 or email@example.com.