Triangle Briefs

UNC-CH seeking airport panel power

May 9, 2008 

— UNC Chapel Hill officials are asking the General Assembly to grant the UNC system the power to create airport authorities, a step toward a new airport in Orange County.

UNC-CH Chancellor James Moeser and other campus officials are asking the system to lobby for the authority in the General Assembly's upcoming short session.

If approved, the university system's 16 campuses and the UNC Health Care System could create airport authorities charged with creating and running local airports.

UNC-CH has long tried to find a new airport site in or close to Orange County to replace the Horace Williams Airport, which will eventually close during the development of Carolina North. In the meantime, the university is setting up shop at a hangar at Raleigh-Durham International Airport.

The authority would not be able to circumvent local zoning or other regulatory issues, but would make a new airport eligible for federal funding.

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