Fletcher, NC — Fifty years ago, Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) opened its doors and its runway, beginning commercial passenger aviation services in Western North Carolina. In the first year of service, the airport hosted approximately 50,000 departing passengers. Now, fifty years later, Asheville Regional Airport is not only celebrating its golden anniversary, but also a record high number of passengers: 369,576 passengers departed from the airport in 2010, and 366,184 passengers arrived, a 27% increase compared to 2009.
“We can attribute this phenomenal growth to two factors,” said Lew Bleiweis, Airport Director. “First, we have been successful in our efforts to attract and retain new airlines, routes and competitive fares for our passengers. Also, though, Western North Carolinians are loyal to local businesses, and have shown through their use of the airport that many prefer to fly out of AVL. We will continue to advocate for and provide the services that travelers need and want, and hope to see more of our regional travelers walk through our gates in 2011.”
In an effort to enhance services for air travelers in the region, today the airport will launch a redesigned website (www.flyavl.com). The site is full of customer services, such as easy ways to book airline tickets, a service that identifies the best fares from Asheville Regional Airport, and a robust “frequently asked questions” section. In addition, the airport is very interested in feedback about its services, passenger experiences and perceptions about AVL. Residents of the region are encouraged to take the on-line survey (found on the website) – those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a prize – an airline ticket voucher.
“We take our role as an economic anchor business in our region very seriously,” said Bleiweis. “It is important for the airport to continue to grow and thrive, which contributes to the overall economic vitality of our region. We are working diligently to continue to positively enhance the air traveler’s experience, and also to encourage travelers in our region to always check Asheville Regional Airport first in their planning. We look forward to a stellar fiftieth year.”
Celebrating its 50th year as an economic anchor organization in the region, Asheville Regional Airport is dedicated to advocating for needed routes and competitive fares for the air travelers in Western North Carolina.
Welcome, traveler! We’re so glad you’ve found your way to our new-and-improved site dedicated to helping you take the easy way out. Odds are you’ve done a little exploring and stumbled upon this blog, perhaps with the question, “What could an airport possibly have to blog about?” Truth is, we have a lot of great stuff to share—exciting news that will affect you, our beloved passenger, giveaways (everyone loves free stuff, right?), events, and more—and this is our new favorite way to do that. But we don’t want it to be a monologue—we want to hear from you, too. If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, take a second to connect with us. If e-mail is more your style, send us a note. Or perhaps you’d rather write your message in the sky with one of those little aerobatic planes. However you choose to get in touch, know that we love hearing from you. Enough about us—we want to focus on you now. What we’d really love to do is enter you into a drawing for travel vouchers (AKA free airline tickets!), which we can do as soon as you take a short survey and tell us what you think about us—good, bad or indifferent. We’ll get off our soapbox now, but check back soon (or better yet, add us to your favorite RSS feeds if you’re into that sort of thing) for more great stuff!
Fletcher, NC – The Asheville Regional Airport Authority (ARAA) soon will welcome Mike Reisman as the new Deputy Director of Development and Operations. Reisman, who is leaving his position as the Greeley-Weld County (Colo.) Airport Manager, will begin at AVL on January 4.
“After an extensive nation-wide search for a new deputy director, I am very pleased that Mr. Reisman has accepted the position,” said Lew Bleiweis, AVL Airport Director. “His more than 23 years of experience in the aviation industry, evidenced by his professional successes in growing the Greeley-Weld County Airport during the past 14 years, will bring positive leadership to development and operations at Asheville Regional Airport. I am looking forward to working with Mike to continue to position AVL well for continued growth.”
Reisman is a former military air traffic controller, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in professional aeronautics with concentrations in aviation management and air traffic control technology. He has held management positions at the Richmond International Airport, the Fort Worth, Texas Department of Aviation, and most recently at the Greeley-Weld County Airport. He is a licensed pilot, a certified Aircraft Rescue Firefighter, and is professionally accredited by the American Association of Airport Executives.
Reisman’s most recent accomplishments as the manager of the Greeley, Colorado-based general aviation airport helped to position the organization for continued growth. Specifically, Reisman’s development expertise lead to growth in real estate acquisitions, which doubled the campus size and resulted in a 53% growth in private development projects. In addition, the airport realized a 72% increase in airport-based aircraft, and finally, Reisman lead the efforts to construct a 10,000 foot runway – a strategic move to position the airport well into the future. Over Reisman’s 14 year tenure at the Greeley-Weld County Airport, the facility’s annual economic impact on the local community increased by over 300 percent.
“I am looking forward to joining the team at the Asheville Regional Airport, and getting started in my new position. The facility has experienced impressive growth thus far, and has aggressive plans for continued growth and development. I am excited and prepared to become part of the team that will help lead the airport down a road of continued success.”
In addition to airport management, Reisman is avidly involved in community work, including five years of service on the Greeley, Colo. Chamber of Commerce board of Directors, and three years as chairman of the Chamber’s “Better Schools, Better Communities” committee. He previously served seven years on the Greeley Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, including as its Chairman, and is currently the immediate past-president of the Colorado Airport Operators Association.
Reisman has been married to his wife Cheryl for 19 years, and they have two children: Jacob (14) and Amy (12).
Fletcher, NC – Passengers traveling through the Asheville Regional Airport over the next 12 weeks will notice the newly remodeled gate area under construction once again – this time for the new concessions that will begin operations in March, 2011.
The Paradies Shops, which has been named the nation’s “Best Airport Retailer” for 15 consecutive years and has also won the title “Concessionaire with the Highest Regard for Customer Service,” will feature a post-security restaurant with a full-service bar and regional microbrews, a CNBC retail shop, and a pre-security Travelmart, featuring Bruegger’s Bagels.
Construction will take place behind temporary walls in the main atrium of the new gate area (post-security) between December, 2010, and March, 2011. The project will not impact passenger travel, and all gates will remain operational and accessible to travelers.
Fletcher, NC – Asheville Regional Airport Authority (ARAA) is pleased to welcome a start-up airline offering low-fare flights to Northwest Florida Regional Airport (VPS) from AVL beginning April 1, 2011.
Vision Airlines, which is making its first foray into major commercial air service, plans to offer the AVL-VPS route on Sundays and Thursdays using 148-seat Boeing 737-400 jets.
“It is exciting for Asheville Regional Airport to welcome Vision Airlines to the region. Their service to the Fort Walton Beach and Destin, Florida, area will be our first non-stop beach destination—a great addition to our growing list of non-stop routes,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Airport Director. “In addition, Western North Carolina is a popular vacation destination for residents of Florida, so we anticipate welcoming many visitors from the panhandle area on these new flights.”
AVL currently has commercial flights to ten cities on six major airlines, with connecting service to any destination in the world. Visit www.flyavl.com for more information about AVL and visit www.visionairlines.com to book a flight to Destin.