JOHNSTON COUNTY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY WELCOMES PHIL LANIER AS NEW AIRPORT DIRECTOR
Smithfield, N.C. – February 17, 2017. As airport project manager for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division of Aviation, Phil Lanier learned how strong general aviation airports can support local economies. He also developed a strong command of state and federal programs that support aviation facilities. That expertise will serve him – and Johnston County – well as Lanier takes on his new role as director of Johnston Regional Airport (JNX).
“The choice of Phil Lanier for this leadership position is not just terrific news for users of the airport, but for everyone eager to see new jobs, businesses and tax revenues flowing into Johnston County,” said Chris Johnson, director of the Johnston County Economic Development Office. “He brings a full understanding of how aviation and airports fit into today’s economic and business landscape.”
Lanier, who began his new position in late January, joined NC DOT in 2002, initially working with highway design and engineering. He moved to the Aviation Division in 2007 as assistant airport development engineer. “At DOT, I represented 21 airports,” says Lanier, who holds a degree in construction engineering and management from North Carolina State University. In his capacity at the Aviation Division he worked with JNX and its leadership. “There’s a good, strong board and support staff here,” he says. “We’ve done several projects together.”
Lanier says JNX ranks in the top five for general aviation airports in North Carolina as measured by the number of aircraft based there. “It’s a very strong general aviation airport,” he says. “The more aircraft you have based there, the better.” There are currently 87 based-aircraft at JNX, according to an NCDOT survey (highlights attached). That alone translates into nearly $171,000 in annual tax revenue for Johnston County.
“We also have great businesses at the airport,” Lanier says, citing the likes of Sparkchasers Aircraft Services and Blue Line Aviation. Duke Life Flight bases its helicopter ambulances at JNX. “That’s huge,” he says. “I’m super-proud to be working with them.”
Lanier calls JNX a major economic driver for Johnston County. DOT’s 2016 study estimated the facility’s annual economic impact to be nearly $108 million. The property’s numerous advantages include its long, wide runway, safety features, full parallel taxiway and strong fixed-based operations. It also has room to grow. “I look forward to working with Chris in helping the community understand what a huge asset we have in JNX and how we can build on it,” Lanier says. “We’ll work together in proactively seeking new businesses and new tenants.”
The Johnston County Economic Development Office (JCEDO) facilitates value-added interaction between government, education and the private sector in encouraging and promoting job creation and economic investment in Johnston County. A unit of county government, JCEDO collaborates with local, regional and statewide partners and allies in providing confidential location assistance to businesses and technical support to the county’s 11 municipalities. Its menu of services includes customized digital mapping, labor and wage analysis, site readiness assistance and incentive packaging. For additional information, go to www.jcnced.com. To learn more about Johnston County, visit http://www.johnstonnc.com.