AHEC Planes Moving From Chapel Hill Airport

For 43 years, UNC physicians have flown out of Horace Williams Airport to take their specialties where they were needed in more remote corners of North Carolina. UNC Medical Air Operations formally went to work in 1972 and now has six planes operating through the state’s Area Health Education Centers.

On July 27, the planes will fly away for the last time, landing at a new UNC-built hangar at Raleigh-Durham International Airport — AHEC’s new air base as the University prepares to close its airport and begin development of the Carolina North campus.

Horace Williams is expected to stay open for about another year, but AHEC needs to stop paying rent there now that the new facility is ready. Medical personnel will give up the short hop from the campus to Horace Williams for a longer drive to RDU.

The University has begun planning the first Carolina North building, known for the time being as the “Research Building.” It will house units of the School of Public Health, the provost’s office and the office of the vice chancellor for research, now housed in leased space. Much of the developed portion of the new campus will cover the area now occupied by the airport. The new campus is part of a total of about 1,000 acres given to UNC by Williams, an alumnus in the class of 1883 who was a philosophy professor from 1890 until his death in 1940.

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