Craven County - Coastal Carolina was selected by the FAA to receive the first Engineered Material Arresting System, or EMAS in all of eastern Carolina.
The stopping system has enough power to bring a 70 passenger jet to a controlled stop, even if it were racing 70 mph down the runway. The biggest benefit, the EMAS prevents damage to an aircraft or harm to any passengers when it is stopping a run-away plane.
The arresting system is comprised of 2,760 foam-filled concrete blocks. The blocks are four feet long by four feet wide, but vary in depth. The blocks at the front of the line stand only six inches high whereas the blocks at the end of the new system span a full 17 inches. The blocks are placed in specific order to stop an airplane in the safest manner possible.
The blocks are designed to crumble swiftly if hit by an airplane, absorbing the momentum. The Coastal Carolina Regional Airport was selected for the $6 million project because of its geography. The runway is limited by a creek on one end, and Williams Road on the othe
There are two other airports in North Carolina with EMAS systems; Winston-Salem and Charlotte Airports.
The project has been in the works for about three years.