Concord 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.
Padgett 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.
“Scott 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 appropriate way.”
Concord-Padgett 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.
"This 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.”
Concord-Padgett 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.
The 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.
The 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.
All county courtesy of the City of Concord Press Release.