• September



Virginia Aviation Board allocating more funds to region’s airports

RICHMOND — Airports in Tazewell County and other parts of Southwest Virginia are sharing in more than $7.1 million allocated by the Virginia Aviation Board, the board’s officials announced Friday.

The Virginia Aviation Board allocated more than $7.1 million to support 20 projects at 11 airports in the Commonwealth. The board held its quarterly meeting both in-person (inside the aircraft hangar building) and online for those who chose to attend virtually.

In addition to the funds that were allocated, the board also approved the Commercial Air Service Plan, which details the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nine commercial passenger airports in Virginia and makes recommendations on ways the Commonwealth can help these vital economic and quality-of-life assets recover.

Local allocations from the VAB included $16,000 for the Tazewell County Airport to fund the construction of a maintenance equipment building.

Virginia Highlands Airport in Abingdon, Va. will receive $490,196 for taxi lane and roadway pavement rehabilitation and $342,831 for land acquisition associated with a runway extension, board officials stated.

“The pandemic has dealt a significant blow to our entire aviation system here within the Commonwealth. Airlines, airports, concessionaires, suppliers, and the thousands of jobs supported by aviation have all been adversely impacted,” said VAB Chairman Rod Hall. “The Commonwealth’s airports play a vital role in state and regional economies and all of them are experiencing unprecedented declines in traffic and revenue. Until we are able to get to the other side of this public health crisis, the VAB is committed to doing all we can to ensure our airports have the tools and flexibility to survive this challenge. In response, the Board supported four strategies that the members believe are crucial to the survival of the aviation industry in Virginia.”

One strategy is to allow the airports to use their annual “entitlement funds,” which are to be used only on capital projects, for operating expenses on a temporary basis. A second strategy is designed to reassure passengers that these airports are being cleaned and sanitized to strict standards established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) so that they know it is safe to fly again. Strategies three and four will be proposed by the VAB to the Governor as budget amendments during the 2021 session of the General Assembly as they are based on a need for additional funding to support operations at the airports, which do not receive General Fund tax dollars.

Story Credit: https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2070344183075/virginia-aviation-board-allocating-more-funds-to-regions-airports
Photo Credit: Lynsi Nicholson, Jayden Taylor, and Leigha Nicholson all of Richlands look over a T-28 Trojan Navy B Model trainer plane during the Tazewell County Airport’s 2015 Fly-In. BDT file photo

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