Amidst the future terminal expansion and other ongoing projects at Wilmington International Airport, the airport has created a new position and has hired an engineer with 12 years of experience to fill the role.
Granseur Dick, the new director of planning and development at ILM, began his new role Nov. 13, according to airport officials.
Dick joined airport staff just a week before ILM announced the addition of United Airlines, a new service carrier to Wilmington that plans to bring two daily, nonstop flights from ILM to Chicago and Washington D.C.
"There couldn't be a more exciting time to be taking on this role," Dick said of the opportunity.
Officials at the airport decided that it was the perfect time to add the new position, which fills a vacancy from another role at ILM, said Gary Broughton, deputy director at ILM.
"With our terminal expansion ... we decided as a staff that the best thing was to have somebody on staff that was an engineer, or someone in that field, to coordinate this project going forward. And that's when we decided to create the position of planning and development director," Broughton said.
ILM is getting closer to breaking ground on its terminal expansion, planned for sometime in the spring, Broughton said. Several moving pieces are falling into place, including the new hire and ongoing design work, he said.
"With his experience in engineering and environmental ... we're really grateful that Granseur came along when he did," Broughton said. "He speaks the language, he knows exactly what's being said by the other parties, and I think that's going to play a big part in this expansion."
The terminal expansion is a three-phase project with plans for new construction and upgrades to the existing terminal, originally built in 1989. An estimate from 2015 put the cost of the project at $86 million, however, more current construction cost estimates are ongoing, Broughton said.
ILM is getting about $12 million in funding over the next two years allocated in the state’s 2017-18 fiscal year budget, which airport officials said would support future airport facility improvements and the terminal expansion. Federal funding is still needed for the project.
In October, the FAA's review of the environmental assessment for the project a rendered no significant impact, giving the airport the green light to continue moving forward with the project and final design plans, according to Dick.
While additional measures are needed before final designs can take place, Dick said this was a "big step" for the project and one of the major hurdles in the process.
"It's incredible that I get to be a part of this. It's also a huge responsibility," he said. "There's a lot going on here and it's going to impact our community."
Dick earned a civil engineering degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Out of college, he worked for an airport consulting firm in Charlotte for about a year.
He then moved to his hometown in Albemarle to work for a civil design firm. The past two years, Dick has worked in Wilmington with two engineering firms. His focuses have included site development, storm drainage, grading and water and sewer projects.
"It was his attitude," Broughton said about ILM's pick for the new position. "His love of airports. I mean he sold us on the fact that it wasn't just a job, it was a career he was looking for. And he was a good fit for us."
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