Message From the Mayor

William C. "Bill" Dusch
Mayor

Mayor William C. "Bill" Dusch, a Concord native, has been active in the community as a business owner and a member of City boards and non-profit organizations for 30 years. He and his wife, Debbie, have two grown children. His Council-appointed board service includes chairing Concord's Planning and Zoning Commission, Board of Adjustment, and Historic Preservation Commission. He is affiliated with many local non-profits including Concord Downtown Development Corporation, United Way, Cabarrus Arts Council, NorthEast Foundation, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Earlier this year, he was awarded the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce Duke Energy Citizenship Award for community service.


"The citizens of Concord have given me an opportunity to be their next Mayor. I thank you all and give you my commitment to uphold our leadership tradition. Together with the City Council, I will work hard to continue moving our City forward and am excited for what we will do together over the next years."

 

A Message from the Mayor 

Remembering Concord's aviation history

In the 1970s and 80s, there were a number of individuals in our community that were working on the concept of a general aviation airport in Concord and Cabarrus County. One of those individuals was Gene Cook, a local business owner. I can remember taking drives around the city and county with Gene where he would show my father and me suitable land for an airport. His vision in a public use airport for our community was not in vain, and I took a particular interest at the time as a commercial pilot and flight instructor.

In 1990, Cabarrus County was in line to receive federal funds to start an airport. At the time, the County Commissioners did not have the support but still felt that it was time for an airport in the region. So as to not lose the funds, the County Commissioners approached Concord's Aldermen (how the City Council was styled at the time) and proposed to transfer the federal funds to Concord. On the November 27, 1990 Board of Aldermen meeting, after much discussion, Alderman Alfred Brown made a motion, seconded by my father, Frank Dusch, to accept the funds thus putting in motion the development of what we know today as Concord-Padgett Regional Airport.

Construction of the airport began in 1992, and 25 years ago in November of 1994, then Mayor Liles and his Council cut the ribbon to open the 5,000-foot runway at Concord Regional Airport. Most of our first 20 years were spent as a General Aviation facility, but development took off like a jet.

Since 1994, $85 million has been invested in airport facilities covering 750 acres, including lengthening the runway to 7,400 feet, strengthening the runway, taxiway, and apron (parking area), adding hangars, and ultimately adding commercial service supported by a dedicated terminal with parking deck. All this has helped to create an economic impact for our community in excess of $1 billion.

Last year, the City Council changed our airport’s name to Concord-Padgett Regional Airport to honor of former Mayor Scott Padgett. Mayor Padgett was instrumental in the continued development of the airport for his 16 years as Mayor and six years before that as a City Council member.

Today, Concord-Padgett Regional Airport has grown to be one of the state's busiest airports and one of only ten commercial service airports. We are a hub for many NASCAR race teams and the location for 3 flight schools. There are 180 planes based at Concord-Padgett with an assessed tax value of $139 million. We have 5 community hangars, 67 T-Hangars, and 9 leased hangars. The area surrounding the airport entrance has been prime commercial and industrial property for the community, including FlyRight aviation training offering full motion FAA certified flight simulators.

In 2013, commercial service with Allegiant Air started in Concord. Today, Allegiant offers non-stop service to 6 Florida cities and New Orleans, with a total of 1,500 Allegiant flights departing Concord-Padgett this year. With the continued support of the City Council, many partners, and of course the dedicated Aviation Department staff, I know we will have more growth in 2020 and beyond.

It was wonderful to be at a special event last month celebrating the last 25 years and commemorating the renaming of the airport for Mayor Scott Padgett. See the airport’s 25th anniversary video at youtube.com/ConcordNC1 and more event photos bit.ly/cpra25th. Congratulations to Concord-Padgett Regional Airport for its first 25 years! I look forward to seeing what the next 25 hold.