Charlottesville’s airport continues to grow

C-Ville has an informative article this week on Charlottesville’s airport’s projected growth – a sign of our region’s continued growth patterns. This must be good news for those opening restaurants and stores in the Hollymead Town Center.

   According to Elliott, the airport is anticipating about 2 percent growth a year over the next 20 years under its master plan. According to a September 2004 FAA planning report used to steer federal infrastructure funds, Charlottesville- Albemarle Airport is projected to handle about 212,000 departing passengers in 2009.
   The airport’s master plan was updated late last year, and the update calls for the construction of additional parking and hangers, and a deicing facility. There will also be a 1,000-foot extension to the current 6,000-foot runway. Dean describes the extension to the runway, which she says can currently accommodate 737s and does so for charter flights, as a measure to meet FAA safety standards. She says it’s not really about enlarging the operating surface of the tarmac. The extension required a modest northward enlargement of Albemarle County’s “Airport Impact Area,” a large keyhole-shaped district that currently includes much of Charlottesville and the surrounding areas and restricts the height of structures within its boundaries for the sake of air traffic safety. The Albemarle Board of Supervisors approved the change on June 8.
   “This industry continues to be one of the most volatile industries out there,” says Elliott. “We in our region are very fortunate that we have a great place where people want to live, and we have strong socioeconomic indicators that show strong demand for air service. Some airline would continue to try to find a way to meet those needs.”

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