• August




DOAV established its current airport roles in 1990. They have served their purpose well for the past 20 years, but DOAV wants to take a step back and determine if it is time for change.

The 2016 VATSP assigned airports to one of five roles. Those roles were:

  • Commercial Service Airports – providing scheduled domestic and in some cases international air carrier service to surrounding communities.
  • Reliever Airports – are typically located near a commercial service airport to relieve congestion at Commercial Service Airports and should be able to accommodate a full range of general aviation and business class aircraft.
  • General Aviation Regional Airports – are often serving multi-jurisdictional service areas and have facilities and services that can accommodate most general aviation or business class aircraft.
  • General Aviation Community Airports – are serving a mix of business and recreational users and have facilities and services that support general aviation aircraft that have less demanding runway needs.
  • Local Service Airports – are serving by providing basic access to the air system and have lower levels of demand than other airports. These airports typically serve smaller general aviation aircraft and recreational users.

These roles were used to describe the function of airports as they relate to its role in the state system. Further, the roles help to determine the appropriate airport facility requirements. For example, Reliever Airports should have an instrument approach with vertical guidance, while General Aviation Regional Airports should have any type of instrument approach. Airports in those roles that did not have these types of approaches were recommended to obtain these improvements.

These roles were also used to evaluate how well different segments of the aviation system provided coverage of Virginia, using drive-time market areas.

Here is the recommended Virginia Aviation System from the 2016 update (see below):

DOAV is interested in looking at these roles to determine if their use is still appropriate. The consultant team will work with the DOAV to determine what purpose airport roles can serve, including a look at updating facility requirements, if a different role categorization is needed, and if the airport roles can serve additional purposes, such as helping prioritize funding decisions.

Stay tuned for more updates as DOAV refines how it makes use of airport roles in the 2022 VATSP.

Story credit: Virginia Department of Aviation; https://doav.virginia.gov/

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