Stanly County Airport receives lighting, runway upgrades

Published 9:11 am Tuesday, January 19, 2021

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Recent projects at the Stanly County Airport will keep the facility safe and operational, the director said.

Stanly County Airport Director Ken Swaringen said several construction projects have recently been completed and others are underway to help improve the facility.

The airport now has updated LED lights on the main runway and taxiway system, an improvement from lights used 20 years ago which Swaringen said was an upgrade from previous lights which had been in place for more than 20 years.

Ninety percent was funded by the state with the other 10 percent from local funds of the $1.3 million project. This makes Stanly one of the few general aviation airports with high-intensity lighting on the main runway.

“We should see a fairly significant savings in electrical,” Swaringen said, adding new voltage regulators were also installed. “We’re really fortunate to have gotten this one done.”

Swaringen said the lights with flat panels on them actually are bright enough to see in the day and are very bright at night. The fixtures are numbered so if someone from the tower notices a light out they are able to determine which one needs repair much more quickly.

As part of the Safety, Preservation and Maintenance Program (SPAM), markings on the asphalt were redone both so they could be seen easier and to round off corners since airplanes make rounded turns instead of square, the director explained.

Stanly’s airport also completed a recent project fully funded by the state to remove rubber from the runways and seal some cracks in the asphalt.

The SPAM plan will also allow the airport to replace the light in the beacon with a high-intensity light as well as some additional electrical work.

“One of the things you always hear in every airport, which suffer this fate right now, is a shortage of hangars…if we can lower the electrical bill, that’s more money we may be able to get a grant (for hangars),” Swaringen said. “Our primary focus is always safety and making sure the airfield is safe and operational.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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