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Southwest Virginia airports receive funding

Southwest Virginia airports receive funding

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BHC 02142021 Virginia Highlands Airport Runway 05

Artist's rendering of the Virginia Highlands Airport runway extension from 4,400 feet to 5,500 feet.

Three Southwest Virginia airports are receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair runways and hangars, according to the Virginia Aviation Board.

On Friday, the board awarded more than $6.54 million to 27 airports across Virginia. The money will be used to fund 40 projects that will improve airports and the services they provide, the board said in a news release.

“Public-use airports in Virginia are vital to the success of any region’s economic development efforts,” said Board Chairman Rod Hall. “Our investment in these 27 airports will only help the communities they serve.”

In Southwest Virginia, Lonesome Pine Airport in Wise County is set to receive $480,000 for runway rehabilitation. Last year, the airport also received $655,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration through the CARES Act for the project.

The funding will be used to improve the airport’s runway, which has aging pavement, according to Airport Manager Jarrod Powers.

Aviation supporter Jack Kennedy, a Wise County resident and board member, said he is pleased with the award. Kennedy’s board term ends this summer.

Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon will receive $334,000, the release states. The airport has received millions of dollars in recent years to expand its runway. Last year, it received $2.2 million through the CARES Act for the project. Virginia Highlands is now planning the project’s fifth phase.

Tazewell County Airport will receive $400,000 from the board. The airport is expected to prepare the site for a hangar.

The Virginia airport receiving the most funding in this award cycle is Danville Regional Airport, which was awarded more than $1.1 million for taxiway and hangar site development projects, the release states.

Other large projects include more than $1 million to support runway, taxiway and apron rehabilitation projects at Gordonsville Municipal Airport; $872,000 for runway rehabilitation and grading at Lake Country Regional Airport; and $464,000 for runway extension at Stafford Regional Airport.

Mark Flynn, director of the Virginia Department of Aviation, said, “We had a terrific mix of small, medium and large improvement projects that went before the Board of Aviation. And the $6.54 million the Board approved is one of the largest awards ever to support general aviation regional, community and local service airports in Virginia.”

The board said aviation is a $23 billion economic engine that employs more than 146,000 people and pays more than $7.7 billion in wages across the 66 public-use airports in Virginia.

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