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Mid-Carolina Regional gets funding to update landing equipment

SALISBURY — Mid-Carolina Regional Airport received $486,000 to replace outdated landing equipment as part of a package of state funding for 27 airports.

The North Carolina Board of Transportation approved state and federal funds for improvements at airports across the state.

The approved projects totaled $24.7 million and ranged in size from $155,000 to $2.8 million.

The equipment for Mid-Carolina Regional, called an instrument landing or glide slope system, is what airport Director Kevin Davis described as a “really complex set of radios and antennas.” The devices assist pilots landing aircraft when visual conditions are hindered.

“It’s extremely critical for aircraft landing in bad weather,” Davis said.

Davis said the airport’s current system is 20 years old. Though it hasn’t yet failed or caused problems for pilots and airport staff, its manufacturing company no longer makes replacement parts.

“This is really just a preventative measure before problems arise,” Davis said.

To receive the funding, Mid-Carolina Regional staff provided the state board with information about the airport’s current system.

The National Guard, stationed at the site, also sent a letter affirming the system’s importance to its mission.

The Guard has to be able to provide services regardless of weather conditions or circumstance, Davis said, and the new system will enable it to continue to do so.

Davis said the request for funds also included technical data provided by the instrument landing system company. The request was submitted in March.

It will take four to six months for a new system to be installed, as each system is unique to the airport it services.

“It’s a great relief that we’re able to do this,” said Davis. “This will keep us moving forward for many years and help us operate for many years to come.”

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