News Flash


Posted on: January 11, 2023

Albert J. Ellis Airport Economic Impact Reaches New Heights


The Albert J. Ellis Airport contributed $707,470,000 million to the state and local economy including more than $228 million in payroll from jobs. These findings were released by the NC Department of Transportation which biannually views the economic impact of the state’s airports.

The NC State University Institute of Transportation Research and Education study is based on 2021 data. It found that more than 11% of the state’s economy is tied to airports and the businesses that use them.

Activity at the airport supports 3,410 jobs with a combined personal income of approximately $228,600,000. This economic activity generates an estimated $35,971,000 in state and local taxes.

Airport Director Chris White says the airport is a valuable asset to the community. “OAJ provides critical and convenient access to the nation’s air transportation system that supports business and industry as well as enhancing the citizens’ quality of life. As the economy recovers from the effects of the pandemic it is encouraging to see that the airport’s impact on the community continues to expand at a substantial rate. The airport is home to two airlines, two medivac operations, a flight school, hosts firefighting and cargo flights, supports aerial application for agriculture and provides the military with a location for important flight training and mobility. The airport is an important economic engine operated by Onslow County supplying much needed employment and generating governmental revenue used to help keep local taxes low.”

The Albert J. Ellis Airport has continuously served Eastern North Carolina since opening in February 1971. The County-owned and operated, commercial service airport in western Onslow County offers a 7,100 foot runway, modern ATCT and three gates. Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both offer service at the Airport with flights to major hubs as do several charter companies. The Airport also welcomes private, corporate, military, medical, agricultural, cargo and government aircraft daily.

North Carolina’s system of 72 airports includes 10 commercial service facilities, like OAJ, and 62 public use general aviation airports. All airports across the state support local and regional businesses, tourism, military and economic development efforts.

View the full North Carolina State of Aviation report, including the breakdown of each individual airport’s contributions, at

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