Transportation planners are gearing up for another expansion of the single-runway airport in Macon County. In 2011, a $4.5 million project that extended the runway from 4,400 to 5,000 feet was completed, in spite of spiritual and archaeological concerns about 400 Cherokee graves and artifacts in the area. Then, in 2013, the Macon Airport Authority secured approvals to repave and widen the runway from 75 to 100 feet. Now, the North Carolina Department of Transportation is planning to expand the runway another 1,000 feet in a second $4.5 million project. In recent years, the Macon County Commissioners have appropriated a 10-percent match for each of the two $4.5 million expansions; $290,000 for widening, repaving, and lighting; and additional amounts for various capital improvement projects. In addition, the county has been paying $40,000 to $50,000 a year for airport operations. Both runway extensions were justified as improvements to airport safety. Lengthening the runway will also allow more types of airplanes to use the airport. The current runway is described by users as adequate for takeoff, but forcing unnecessary burning of rubber on landings. Conditions are worse in the dark and/or rain. The airport is used heavily by local industry leaders. For example, Drake Enterprises flies six days a week, sometimes making three round trips a day.