Blackwater wants to use N.C. airport

backwater.jpgBy Connie Sage |

The town is negotiating with Blackwater to allow the private security company to lease space at Northeastern Regional Airport to use for its driver training program. Blackwater would instruct defensive driving techniques on a paved, abandoned runway at the Edenton airport, said Town Manager Anne-Marie Knighton.

The company, headquartered in Moyock, would use the airport to supplement its own training site.

Blackwater is reviewing a proposed $14,000 a year land-lease arrangement and could begin using the property as early as next month, according to Knighton.

College of The Albemarle has used the runway for its Basic Law Enforcement Training classes for years at no charge, she said.

“This would be the first time we’d be getting revenue for the land,” she said.

Blackwater gave demonstrations of its driver training program last month to town and airport officials at both its Moyock location and at the Edenton airport.

The runway, located at the northeast corner of the airport, hasn’t been used for aircraft since the town took over the property from the Marines in 1959, said airport manager Harry Davis.

“We need as many revenue sources at the airport as possible,” Davis said. “The more revenue we can generate and the more the airport is self-supporting, the fewer taxes are required.”

Knighton said the runway would be used once or twice a month for two days at a time and would be limited to driver training for law enforcement agencies that contract with Blackwater.

The town also is looking at a program Blackwater developed in conjunction with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol to teach defensive driving to newly licensed teenage drivers, Knighton said.