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Behind the Scenes: A look at the Airport Information Technology Department

So, you’re about to embark on an exciting trip, one that begins at Asheville Regional Airport!  We know you have a fabulous destination on your mind (New York?  California?  Italy?  Peru?), and we also know that there are hard-working airport employees who are thinking about many other details that affect your trip.  We thought it would be fun to give a little insight into what happens “behind the scenes” at the airport in one of our departments.   Join us on a descriptive journey of your arrival at the airport, and the ways that our Information Technology team impacts your trip… (more…)

New board members appointed to the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority

(Asheville, N.C.) The Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority (GARAA) is pleased to announce the addition of two new board members, Stephanie Pace Brown and Matthew Burril. Brown was appointed by Asheville City Council and Burril was appointed by the Buncombe County Commission. Both attended their first board meeting on February 13, 2015.

Stephanie Pace Brown is the Executive Director of the Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau, leading a staff of 23 to attract overnight visitors to Buncombe County. Prior to joining the Asheville CVB (more…)

Record number of passengers served in 2014

Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) served a record number of passengers in 2014: 378,124 passengers enplaned at the airport in 2014, and 378,301 passengers deplaned, an 11.5% increase compared to 2013, and a 2.3% increase compared to 2010, the previous best year on record. (more…)

Is that a big jet I see? What happened to the smaller commuter planes?

The airlines are continuing to reduce the number of smaller planes from their fleets, which means the reemergence of larger jets at AVL. Smaller planes worked well when jet fuel prices were very low. However, the price of jet fuel spiked several years ago, and ever since then, smaller planes are no longer as economically viable for the airlines.

American (US Airways), Delta and United continue to offer service on 50-seat aircraft, but the frequency of these flights has declined slightly now that larger aircraft are back in the mix. American (US Airways) and Delta offer two-class service on many of the planes from AVL.   Allegiant (the ultra low-cost carrier with five Florida routes from AVL)  flies planes that seat 150 or 176 passengers.

The trend will continue in which airlines will reduce the frequency of their 50-seat aircraft, replacing with fewer round-trips with larger aircraft. It’s all about economics and the most efficient way to fly from “point A” to “point B.”

So the next time you book a flight from AVL and start to choose your seat, pay attention to that diagram of the airplane on your computer screen. It might be a little bigger than you anticipated.

Construction to the east, construction to the west … and yes, the north and south, too

Asheville Regional Airport is under construction, and no matter which way you look, dirt is being moved, roads are being paved or signs are being erected.  Below is a brief overview of what’s happening at the airport.

Project SOAR:  on the west side of the airport

The biggest construction project since the airport was built, Project SOAR will result in a new runway, a second taxiway and more than 40 acres of buildable land on the west side of the airfield.  Right now, the land is being prepared for the construction of the new taxiway.  Lots of fill material is being trucked to the site, and we expect the taxiway construction to begin by the end of the year.  To find out more, click here.

To the south:  site preparation for a new gas station and convenience store

The construction taking place adjacent to the south entrance of the airport – across from the WNC Ag Center and Fanning Bridge Road – is site preparation for a land tenant who is building a gas station and convenience store.

To the north:  NC Department of Transportation project

The main entrance of the airport has been demolished, and is being relocated at this time.  Why?  The NC Department of Transportation (NC DOT) needed the land where the entrance was located to complete their reconfiguration of the traffic interchange on Airport Road. This new entrance will be located at the light across the street from The Fairfield Inn and the J&S Cafeteria.

To the east:  the “borrow pit”

Directly across Airport Road from the terminal is what the airport calls its “borrow pit.”  This is a parcel of land designated for future development.  In order to prepare the gas station site at the south entrance,  fill dirt was “borrowed” from this parcel of land to the east of the terminal.  By removing dirt from this land, it is being leveled and prepared for future development.

AVL Executive Director elected chair of ACI-NA’s U.S. Policy Board

(Asheville, N.C.) Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., Executive Director of Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), has been elected chair of the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) U.S. Policy Board. By position, the US Policy Board Chair also serves as one of the five executive committee members of the ACI-NA board. He will serve a two-year term in this position.  (more…)

Airport main entrance to close

Asheville Regional Airport’s main entrance will close permanently Wednesday, October 8. All traffic will then access the airport through the south entrance at the light near Fanning Bridge Road, and this traffic pattern will be in place through early 2015 when a new main entrance will open. Signs will be posted to direct traffic.  (more…)

Passenger traffic on the rise at Asheville Regional Airport

Asheville, N.C.– For the eighth month in a row this year, passenger traffic increased at Asheville Regional Airport. The number of travelers departing from Asheville increased 11% for the month of August 2014 compared with August 2013, and was the biggest recorded August in the airport’s history with a total of 75,421 passengers.  (more…)

Airport dedicates new public safety facility

(Asheville, N.C.) On August 20, 2014 Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) representatives used the “jaws of life” (a public safety rescue tool suitable for cutting into metal) to cut the ribbon during the commemorative ceremony to dedicate the airport’s new public safety facility. The new building, which houses the airport’s police, aircraft rescue and fire-fighting and communications center, opened after two years of design and construction.  (more…)

Asheville Regional Airport breaks ground on $64 million airfield project

On August 8, 2014 Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) broke ground on the biggest construction project since the airport was originally built, titled Project SOAR:  Significant Opportunity for Aviation and the Region.  The 5-year, 4-phase project, slated for completion some time in 2018, will result in a new replacement runway, a second taxiway and 40+ acres of land suitable for aeronautical development.  (more…)