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ILM growth taking off

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WILMINGTON -- Growth at ILM is already taking off. Less than two weeks ago the airport announced Allegiant Air will offer low cost direct flights to Orlando. And just across the long term parking area business at the general aviation terminal is looking bright as we head toward 2020. Air Wilmington's success lies primarily in its customs facility. Last year it cleared 2,600 planes, and that facility is why Wilmington's airport is called international. The turn-around time is one of the factors that make air Wilmington so attractive. While travelers can spend up to two hours clearing customs in busier south Florida airports, it only takes about 20 minutes here. As we look toward 2020, a three point five million dollar new and improved customs facility is in the works. Air Wilmington owner and president Bill Cherry said, "Wilmington is on the map because of its quickness in getting international traffic turned around. We've gone from a quiet southern town to a pretty sophisticated operation here at the airport." The one hangar at air Wilmington houses about 75 planes on a permanent basis. Looking toward 2020, that number is only going to grow. Plans are in the works to build as many as 21 hangars -- and those improvements could happen in the next few years.

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