The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Pitt-Greenville Airport runway extension project of 670 feet.
PGV Airport Manager Carolyn Prinz said the expansion of the runway is to adhere to the FAA safety standards for the models of planes used. In the future PGV plans to transition to the use of "an all-regional jet fleet with a mix of CRJ200s and CRJ700s," officials said. The draft assessment document for the expansion states the current length of landing of about 6,500 feet is not sufficient.
"An extension of Runway 2/20 to provide 7,000 feet available for takeoff length is needed to improve safety and increase runway operational length to allow unconstrained use by the critical aircraft," the document said.
The first public input meeting for local residents who may be affected by the expansion was held Thursday at 6 p.m. In that meeting airport officials said the FAA would offer funds to help local residents with moving costs if they complained of pollution and noise.
Airport executive director Jerry Vickers said the design for the project will take about a year and construction will begin one year from now. Vickers said according to the environmental study the homes that will be affected most by noise and potential pollution are on Haw Drove and Flemming School Rd.; a total of 14 homes and 31 residents.
"We're not forcing anybody to move and it's purely voluntary. If they choose to move then we'll pay them the fair market value for their home and cover relocation costs," Vickers said.
Vickers said a consultant team will go to each of the homes to determine the market value of the properties. Trees on properties around West 3rd Street may need to be cut, Vickers said.
The total project including all of the easements, grants and construction will cost about 12 million dollars, Vickers said.