North Carolina C-130 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Facility

rendering of buildings and planes

North Carolina C-130 Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul Facility

Design and Program Management of a Large MRO Facility for the U.S. Navy

The C-130 — the longest continuously produced military aircraft for the U.S. Navy — will get a new dedicated maintenance, repair and overhaul campus to keep the planes in working order for decades to come.

The U.S. Navy has entered into an Intergovernmental Support Agreement with the North Carolina Global TransPark Authority to lease what will become a state of the art aircraft MRO facility. It will be an extension of Fleet Readiness Center East, a naval aviation maintenance and repair depot located at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in Havelock, North Carolina.

HDR was selected by NCGTP to serve as designer and program manager for the $350 million MRO facility, being built on 75 acres of land owned by NCGTP in Kinston, North Carolina. The authority will build the facility to meet the specifications of FRCE to become the first facility of its kind outside of a military installation.

rendering of buildings and planes

We have been serving as the program manager for the project since August 2022 in a partnership with NCGTP to oversee the initial planning and overall construction of the 700,000-square-foot facility. HDR is also providing complete design services as the designer of record for the facility and supported NCGTP in the procurement of the construction manager at-risk to deliver the project.

Currently, Navy and Marine Corps C-130s are maintained at Hill Air Force Base in Davis County, Utah, alongside Air Force C-130 aircraft. Due to current readiness and workload requirements, the Navy chose to move this work in-house under the control of one of its existing aviation depots. The project is a collaboration between the state of North Carolina and the U.S. Navy that can be emulated in other locations where the military requires larger facilities but does not have space on existing installations.

The intergovernmental service agreement, one of the largest between a state or municipality and a branch of the military, includes an aggressive timeline with the first C-130 aircraft set to arrive in September 2026. Our team included experts from a wide variety of disciplines, including building engineering, facility design, military aviation and cybersecurity. Our environmental and planning experts conducted a required focused environmental assessment to evaluate the impact of noise from aircraft at the facility on nearby properties.

During the early design and planning process, our team established a conceptual budget of the facility based on the maximum $350 million budget set aside by the North Carolina General Assembly.

Our design team visited the existing C-130 maintenance facility at Hill Air Force Base, as well as facilities in Georgia and the U.K., to become familiar with the maintenance and repair processes and develop an understanding of the size of space needed for the facility. A C-130 is approximately 100 feet long and more than 130 feet wide, requiring a large amount of indoor hangar space.

Rendering of building and plane

Feedback from a weeklong design charrette with key stakeholders from the NCGTP, FRCE and the CMAR further helped refine the design, with additions like a second paint hanger to meet the workload demand.

The preliminary design also includes:

  • An MRO hangar with 12 bays each large enough to accommodate a C-130 aircraft
  • More than 100,000 square feet of back shop space for metalworking, machining, sandblasting and component repair
  • Two additional paint facilities for smaller aircraft and C-130 parts
  • A defueling facility to remove fuel from arriving aircraft before they are moved into hangars for repair and overhaul
  • A flight test hangar to evaluate aircraft following MRO
  • A parts warehouse for the storage of parts and consumables
C-130 rendering in hangar

Grading of the site has started, with paving of the aprons and taxiways scheduled to start in summer of 2024. The final design for the facility will be completed in December 2024, with building construction anticipated in summer 2025.

rendering of buildings and planes
North Carolina Global TransPark Authority

Kinston, NC
United States