Regional Airport will have a new name that recognizes the
leadership and legacy of J. Scott Padgett, who recently completed four terms as
Mayor in December 2017. The City Council unanimously voted to rename the
facility Concord-Padgett Regional Airport on Thursday evening.
served as Concord's Mayor from 2001-2017, after first serving on
City Council from 1995-2001. In addition to 27 years of elected leadership, his
service in Concord extends back over 40 years with a career as a public school
educator and principal at Coltrane-Webb and Beverly Hills Elementary Schools.
He is continuing his public service to North Carolina after being appointed
by Governor Cooper to the Local Government Commission.
Padgett played a critical role in the growth of our airport into a community
asset and regional economic driver,” said Mayor Bill Dusch. “He started as an
elected official in Concord just after the airport first opened, and it is fair
to say the airport would not be what it is today without his decades of service.
I commend the City Council on honoring his leadership in such a meaningful and
Regional Airport opened in 1994 with a general aviation terminal and a
5,500-foot runway. Improvements during Padgett’s tenure include extension of
the runway to 7,400 feet, strengthening of the runway, development of private
sector investment in and around the airport, and construction of a commercial
service terminal and parking deck.
is truly humbling,” said Padgett. “Our airport was built by visionary people
who led Concord at a time when few could see the possibilities in store for our
community. Fortunately, the elected officials who preceded me made decisions
not for popularity, but because they were critical to the success and quality
of life we enjoy today. To be recognized in this way is only possible because
my City Council colleagues and I stood on their shoulders.”
Regional Airport is one of the busiest airports in the Carolinas. Many
operations are related to the motorsports industry as most NASCAR related teams
are located in the Charlotte region, several with facilities adjacent to or
near the airport. The airport’s strong general aviation focus has been recently
enhanced by the availability of Allegiant Air’s low-cost scheduled passenger
service to six destinations.
airport is operated by over 40 City of Concord Aviation Department coworkers
who provide aircraft fueling, hangaring, tie-down, parking, and customer
services. Other aeronautical services such as aircraft rental, aircraft
maintenance, and flight instruction are offered through private operators
leasing space on-site. CRA also has an on-site, staffed fire station operated
by the Concord Fire Department and a control tower operated by contracted
staff. The annual budget for the airport currently exceeds $9.3 million.
City Council’s action is effective immediately and was required to begin the
formal process to seek FAA approval. The change will be implemented over time
once the FAA process is complete, including working with the North Carolina
Department of Transportation to adjust signage on I-85 and I-485, which both provide
access to the airport in minutes.