ILM Scores in Senate-Approved State Budget

May 12, 2017

Wilmington International Airport got some welcome news when the state budget was released. The proposal includes $40 million for commercial airports across North Carolina for the next fiscal year -- and $50 million for 2018 -19.  Some of that money is headed to Wilmington.

ILM would receive almost $12 million over the two-year budget cycle the Senate approved, which would support ILM airport improvements.

“We are overwhelmed by the amount that Senators Rabon and Lee put in there for ILM.”

Airport director Julie Wilsey.

“This is really an investment in both the tourism and economic development of the state.”

Wilsey says the additional funding will be used for future facility upgrades and a terminal expansion project that is in the planning stages.

“We know we need to move forward with the expansion. The next two years will allow us to get the design underway this year, and then start substantial construction in the next year.”

According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, ILM had a $1.6 billion impact on the region last year. Also the airport served more than 817,000 passengers in 2016, setting a new record, with passenger counts trending upward this year.

The budget now goes to the House.