• Commercial customers to fly from Concord starting Friday

    By: Eric Philips


    CONCORD, N.C. - The Concord Regional Airport will open its doors Friday to commercial customers for the first time.

    It will start with just two flights a week, but city leaders said that's likely just the beginning.

    Workers are transforming a hanger into a terminal in preparation for the airport's first commercial customers.

    Low-cost carrier Allegiant Air will provide service to and from Orlando.

    Depending on when travelers book, passengers can get a fare for as low as $49 one way.

    Officials said tickets are going fast.

    "We're booking tickets right now all the way through July and we're up above industry averages for those bookings," said Concord Aviation Director Rick Cloutier.

    Read our past coverage:

    Dec. 11: Concord airport readies for commercial flight

    Aug.14: Concord airport may start 'scheduled air service'

    Jan. 28: New charter flight could bring millions to Concord airport

    Now the airport is going commercial, it needs increased security.

    "This space had to meet all TSA requirements just like any other airport. So if you come here or Charlotte or NYC, obviously the space is much smaller, but the all the security requirements are the same," Cloutier said.

    Parking is also a concern, but officials said there are 500 spaces within an easy walk of the terminal and additional parking not much farther away and here's the good news: It's free.

    With the airport's proximity to Concord Mills and other local businesses, officials said it will help boost the local economy.

    "It's an opportunity to get to other parts of the country for a cheaper price than the major carrier plus the smaller airports I found over the years are a lot easier to get in and out of than the bigger airports," said resident Jim Rockel.

    "Well, I feel that it would be very convenient because it would be only four miles from my house," resident Doris O'Neil.

    If this takes off the way officials expect, then they say more destinations and more flights will be added.

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