Wilmingtonbiz logo

Air Wilmington Finishes Upgrades Ahead Of Golf Tournament

By Neil Cotiaux, posted Apr 18, 2017
Air Wilmington, the private fixed-base operator at Wilmington International Airport, is the latest business to add more polish in advance of May’s Wells Fargo Championship golf tournament.
The facility, which serves the flight crews and passengers of corporate, general aviation and military aircraft on a 24/7 basis, has just completed a major overhaul of its main customer contact points at a cost of about $350,000, President and CEO Bill Cherry said.
“It’s a complete retrofit of the facility,” Cherry said, pointing to new paint, fixtures, tile, appliances, counter and table tops, artwork and bathrooms along with upgrades to its pilots lounge and a separate room used by the crews of Harrier jets arriving from the Cherry Point and New River Marine Corps air stations that also doubles as a conference room.
While the recent refurbishing was part of an ongoing series of upgrades at Air Wilmington – “We’ve had three iterations of this building in 11 years,” Cherry said – the company made sure that its curb appeal would take on more luster in time for the May 1-7 PGA Tour event at Eagle Point Golf Club, which is expected to draw up to 30,000 spectators a day.
“We wanted to have this complete by the first of April,” Cherry said. “The outer complete-date was April 15.”
Cherry expects the televised tournament to create more business for Air Wilmington.
“We’re estimating 40 to 50 additional aircraft that week” carrying golf pros, corporate passengers and other spectators, he said, adding that Air Wilmington is “ready and geared up for a lot more than that.”
The latest changes at the fixed-base operator follow last year’s opening of a new hangar at Air Wilmington designed to better serve corporate aircraft such as Gulfstream-series and Bombardier jets, Cherry said.
The 21,000-square-foot hangar – the largest ever built at ILM – was completed at a cost of nearly $2.8 million and is 150 feet wide, 140 feet deep and 28 feet high. It features a “cutting-edge” fire suppression system to protect clients, their planes and the hangar itself, the only such installation at a corporate hangar in the Tar Heel State, Cherry noted.
The hangar, now the 16th within the Air Wilmington footprint at ILM, replaces one built in the 1930s.
Air Wilmington provides line services such as quick-turn fueling and aircraft washing and holds FAA certification that allows it to inspect and maintain general aviation and corporate aircraft. Crew amenities include a private pilots lounge, snooze room, shower, computers and conference room. A public lobby features easy chairs and refreshments. “We deal with a lot of upper-end customers,” Cherry said.
He said he expects existing customers to be even happier as they experience the latest upgrades. But he also has his eye on helping the Cape Fear region leave a strong first impression with newcomers to the area who pass through Air Wilmington on their way to the golf event.

“We are ambassadors,” he said.
For additional coverage of how the region’s public and private sectors are gearing up for the golf tournament in May, pick up Friday’s edition of the Greater Wilmington Business Journal.

Join The Discussion

Similar Stories

Book On Business


The 2017 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!
Print Only
$24.95 - Qty
Print + Excel File
$79.95 - Qty

In The Current Issue

Inside Live Oak Bank’s Leadership Change

The hiring of career banker Scott Custer as Live Oak Bank’s new president is part of the bank’s ambitious plans for growth, chairman and CEO James “Chip” Mahan said.

Counting The Days On Home Sales

Competition continues to heat up in the local housing market, trends that have led to ongoing drops in a statistic Realtors watch – days on ...

Attorneys Named To Super Lawyers

Find out what local attorneys made Thomson Reuters' Super Lawyers list this year. Peer nominations and evaluations along with third-party re...

Ico topnews Editor's Picks

Elected Officials Consider Options For Saving Echo Farms Property

Cece Nunn - Apr 28, 2017 Trending News

MarKraft Acquires Apex Cabinet Company

Staff Reports - Apr 28, 2017

What Does PPD's Latest Deal Mean?

Cece Nunn - Apr 27, 2017 Trending News

Report: Local Apartment Vacancy Rate Remains Low

Cece Nunn - Apr 28, 2017
Non Profit

United Way of the Cape Fear

United Way is working alongside local agencies in order to assist them in providing substantial and sustainable change within the Cape Fear Area. Live United!

Ico trending Trending News

Ico newsinimages News in Pictures

Have a tip, pitch or guest column?  Send us a tip.

Gallery Galleries

Video Videos

Wilmington's Most Intriguing People of 2016
WilmingtonBiz Expo - Key Note Lunch with Keynote Lunch with Chip Mahan - 2016

Register to Continue Seeing Wilmington's Best Business Coverage!

There are three ways to register for free.

Sign in with LinkedIn, Facebook or create an account:

Already registered? Login here.

Your free registration includes:

  • Access to 10 articles per month on WilmingtonBiz.com
  • Email updates to stay informed on local business news
  • A mobile optimized website
  • Advanced notification of Business Journal events
  • Management of your digital and print subscriptions
Laptop iphone ipad