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Horace Williams Airport About to Wing Its Way Into History

Horace Williams airport

Aerial photo of Horace Williams airport, looking west. (News & Observer photo)

UNC’s trustees have cleared the path to closing Horace Williams Airport in the first half of 2018.

The board agreed more than 12 years ago to keep the airport open until construction began at the University’s Carolina North site. But UNC’s only vested interest in the airport — its fleet of Area Health Education Center planes that ferry medical personnel across the state — was moved to Raleigh-Durham International Airport in 2011 after 43 years at Horace Williams; construction at Carolina North will not start in the foreseeable future.

UNC is losing money maintaining the airport and is facing more than $1 million in runway repairs to keep it open. On Nov. 17, the trustees amended the 2008 resolution relating to Carolina North, enabling them to close it.

Brad Ives ’86 (’89 JD), associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises, said the airport probably would not be closed before mid-March.

Philosophy Professor Horace Williams (class of 1883) was one of the University’s most popular teachers of his time. At his death in 1940, his estate left to the University a tract of about 1,000 acres north of the campus, where the namesake airport was built and which is planned as the site of a satellite campus.


 

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