Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) Executive Director Kevin Baker was at the Guilford County Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, Dec. 16 getting $2 million for the airport from the county right after a press release came across the wire noting that PTIA was getting $5.1 million in federal funding.

When it rains it pours – as local economic development officials can tell you about all the positive economic activity taking place in Guilford County these days – with the airport’s aviation megasite being a big part of that excitement.

The airport has been upgrading many of its facilities in recent years – in addition to building a 1,000-plus acre aviation megasite – so every million dollars comes in very handy.

At the Dec. 16 commissioners meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve $2 million for infrastructure improvements at the airport. 

PTIA has been courting aircraft maker Boom Supersonic. However, at the meeting, the money was billed opaquely as “$2 million to support infrastructure costs related to economic development.”

The announcement of the $5.1 million was also very welcome to airport officials. 

Baker said after the commissioners meeting Thursday that the federal money would likely be used for terminal enhancements but he added that that had not been decided yet.

“We’re working through that right now,” he said.

The announcement of the $5.1 million came from US Senator Thom Tillis’ office and noted that more than $458 million had been secured for North Carolina’s airports over the next five years as part of the Airport Infrastructure Grant in the federal infrastructure package supported by Tillis and other legislators of both parties.

In that same batch of funding, Charlotte/Douglas International will get a whopping $43 million and change over five years while Raleigh-Durham International will get nearly $15 million.

Tillis stated in the release that, “These investments will go a long way in improving major and regional airports across our state. This airport funding will continue to drive economic development throughout our rural and urban communities, and I look forward to seeing these investments deployed to improve our critical infrastructure assets in the state.”