On February 9, 2007 the announcement came that the North Carolina Department of Commerce granted an award of $3,500,000 in Economic Development Reserve Grant Funding for the Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park.
Expected to encompass approximately 65 acres of land that is neighboring the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Regional Airport as well as the U.S. Coast Guard Station, the Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park is anticipated to produce many aviation related jobs for the area.
City and County leaders understand the need to further develop upon the relationship with the Coast Guard and the private contractors that do aircraft overhaul work for the Guard. According to the official press release, there are industries that have already committed to locating at the Park upon completion. It is also noted that the project can benefit from the fact that the area has the only Department of Homeland Security Depot Level Maintenance Facility. This growth is expected to create a long-term economic benefit for the area that will continue well through the 21st century.
The grant will be used to acquire the land, plan the site, and for taxiway infrastructure construction. With an approximate total project cost of $10,433,800, the additional funding is expected to come from other grants, the City of Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, and the Elizabeth City Pasquotank County Regional Airport Authority, as well as some land lease revenues the airport authority receives.
Additional support of the facility comes from the educational community in the Elizabeth City Area. Among the educational facilities are Elizabeth City State University, College of the Albemarle, and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Each of these facilities are currently offering a wide variety of aviation-related programs that will be able to support the need for skilled workers by the businesses who will move into the Park.
The Elizabeth City Aviation Research and Development Commerce Park has an extensive amount of support in both the public and private sectors. Those involved have demonstrated their complete commitment to the project and will continue working together to ensure the project’s completion and success.