Passengers traveling through Asheville Regional Airport will soon experience a marked upgrade in the boarding process in the gates 4−7 area. The airport is in the process of installing new passenger boarding bridges, an improvement that allows larger aircraft to park at those gates and also shelters passengers from the elements.
"The new bridges offer several improvements, including the ability to handle main line aircraft such as 737s and MD80s, and the largest of the three new gates will be able to accept a 757," said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., executive director. "Some of our gates were already equipped with these types of bridges, and this project brings several gates at the north end of the terminal up to the same level."
The $1.7 million project was paid for primarily by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grant funds. Each year the airport receives approximately $2.3 million in project funding through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP). Congressman Heath Shuler supported the successful grant application, making it possible for AVL to make needed boarding bridge replacements.
"I am very pleased the FAA has awarded this important funding to the Asheville Regional Airport," Rep. Shuler said. "This grant will help the airport make necessary improvements to expand and upgrade its facilities, which in turn will improve economic development opportunities for businesses and travelers in Western North Carolina."
The first of the three bridges will be operational early this month and work will continue on the remaining two, with all three in operation by the end of the year.