Business View Magazine September 2018

196 197 “We went from 4,000 feet to 4,300 feet and 100 feet wide, and we picked up more traffic,” Franklin continues. “The economic impact, according to a study from North Carolina State University, was $4 million a year. Several years later, we extended the runway to 5,505 feet and we jumped to $64 million in economic impact. Then we went to a parallel taxiway and the economic impact went to $250 million a year. Right now, according to the FAA, we’re the 4th busiest airport in the state out of 67 GA airports. 70 percent of travelers still go to Oak Island, so those gentlemen’s vision about an airport supporting a fish camp or resort community was very true.” Today, the Jetport is administered by the Bruns- wick County Airport Commission. It has three full-time and six-part-time employees, and Frank- lin says it operates in the black. “GA airports have to be diversified,” he explains. “You can’t make money on just airplane fuel; you had better bring in revenue from as many different locations as you can.We have two aircraft maintenance shops. CAPE FEAR REGIONAL JETPORT They’re doing very well and making a good profit; they’re honest and they do quality work.We have a skydive operation - Coastal Carolina Sky- dive.We also have a very busy flight school that has seven instructors who are retired airline pilots.We have a helicopter flight school that’s also doing well.We have regular fixed wing and helicopter air tours. In my terminal, we have Hertz, a real estate office, and next door, there’s a building with a bait and tackle shop. I’m within $30,000 a year of all the bills being paid, without selling a drop of fuel. That’s my goal. Every- thing that we sell in fuel will be over and above.” For capital projects, the Jetport receives FAA funds and state grants. “I got a $3.5 million grant from the state to build a new 5 ,000-sq.ft . ter-