Moore County Airport ready for U.S. Open Championships

CARTHAGE, N.C. – The Moore County Airport (SOP) has been preparing for the influx of an estimated 4,000 flights that will arrive and depart from the airport during the two weeks of the U.S. Open Championships.

 The airport recently completed an extensive renovation/expansion program as part of a long-term strategic plan and have further enhanced this strategy with a variety of sponsorships and special hospitality programs and amenities for the countless passengers and pilots who will utilize the airport during the Opens, slated for June 12-15 at Pinehurst Resort.

A variety of exclusive national and regional sponsorships have been developed including:

  • Flexjet: Providing airport terminal hospitality, sponsor displays and a business center for the passengers and pilots.
  • Shell Oil: Providing hospitality for the pilots, enhanced ground support equipment, and airport staff uniforms and support.
  • Acura: Providing ground transportation vehicles for shuttling guests from the airport to the Pinehurst area.
  • North Carolina Department of Commerce: Providing amenities for arriving passengers.
  • Bob Timberlake, Inc.: Providing terminal furniture, fixtures, rugs, and artwork.
  • EarthStone: Providing custom stone patio work for the main entrance to the airport.
  • Pepsi Bottling Company: Providing Pepsi product for hospitality and staff use, coolers and support equipment for flight catering.
  • Toro: Providing ground support vehicles.
  • E-Z-GO: Providing ground support shuttles.
  • Hertz: Providing ground support shuttle vehicles.
  • Bacco Selections: Providing wine tastings in the terminal hospitality areas and catering product support.
  • Ricoh: Providing copiers and printers for the pilot area and airport business center and customer service desk.
  • Verizon: Providing computer tablets, terminal internet service and smart phone charging stations for passenger use.
  • PSAV: Providing audio/visual equipment for the terminal.
  • Walmart: Providing television monitors for the airport terminal and pilot areas.
  • Sandhill Signs: Providing directional signage for the airport entrance roads.
  • Pinehurst Resort: Providing tarmac welcome rugs for the arriving aircraft, donated flowers for the airport grounds and support for volunteer uniforms.
  • TruGreen: Providing landscaping support

The airport has contracted with Kirk Tour & Limousines to provide the exclusive ground transportation support to transport arriving guest to the U.S. Open Championships and throughout the community.

Durham, North Carolina-based Catering on Demand, which specializes in aircraft catering services, has created an onsite kitchen in one of the airport hangers to provide flight catering, terminal hospitality and meal support for the airport staff and volunteers.

Pinehurst Resort is also opening a satellite retail shop in the airport terminal offering Pinehurst logoed shirts, caps and golf gifts.

In addition, there will be a welcome desk at the airport with a community volunteer ambassadors to assist the passengers and guests with area information and to distribute promotional collateral materials, schedules and area maps.

The Moore County Airport has multiplied its existing staff to allow for the increase in aircraft traffic and over 50 community volunteers will provide support for ground operations, catering, and terminal hospitality support.

The airport can accommodate almost twice as many parked medium-sized business jets on a daily basis and can expand parking from 70-100 aircraft based on the aircraft size and arrival frequency for these aircraft.

The main passenger/guest parking areas had to be relocated to an adjacent area near the existing parking lot to accommodate the runway expansion. Additional parking spaces have been added in anticipation of greater traffic for this year.

“Planning for the anticipated arrivals of the thousands of passengers for the U.S. Opens has been a long-term project for our staff and for the Airport Authority,” said Steve Borden, Executive Director for the Moore County Airport. “Our goal is to make sure the arrival and departure experience is enjoyable and seamless for the passengers and pilots coming into Moore County. With the increased air traffic and an estimated 100 or more aircraft on the grounds at any given time, we are focused on safety to assure the passengers, pilots, airport staff and volunteers are properly cared for.”

Private contractors have been hired by the Airport Authority to handle the air traffic control during the Championships, and they will utilize a temporary control tower to manage the influx of private aircraft into the airport. The FAA-certified air traffic controllers will have a combined 175 years of experience in the orderly sequencing of aircraft into and out of the airport during this busy time, airport officials said.

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