Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport seeking public input on 20-year Master Plan

Roanoke Valley News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA) is developing its 20-year Master Plan and airport officials are looking for public input.

Runway safety enhancements, improvements to the passenger terminal building, increased parking, and expanded cargo facilities are just some of the proposed developments for the 20-year Master Plan.

The public can give their input on the plan through an online survey at https://flyroa.com/master-plan/public-involvement.php. The survey will remain up until December 11, 2020.

The Master Plan assesses needs across five key areas for ROA – Airfield (runways), Passenger Terminal, Cargo, General/Private Aviation, and Parking.

“Our airport is strong in safety measures and we want to ensure we stay that way as more people pass through our region via air travel,” explains Tim Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.

ROA’s vision includes extending one of its two runways to cross west over I-581 to enhance the required runway safety areas that help reduce the risk of damage or injury to aircraft, passengers or surrounding traffic in the event an airplane over or undershoots the runway during takeoffs and landings. This type of overpass is similar to the existing one that currently passes over Southbound Airport Road/State Route 118.

“We’re expecting that it will be two to three years before air travel resumes to normal pace, but we know we need to start now to be prepared for the future growth we know is coming. We believe strongly that the runway enhancement, as well as the other proposed developments included in the Master Plan, will keep our operations safe and as an added bonus will also position our airport for future growth as future opportunities arise.”

Tim Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport

Airport facility needs are driven by forecast demand levels known as Planning Activity Levels, or PALs which are not tied to specific years. By using PALs the Airport is able to plan for project implementation as demand levels materialize and not programming them to specific years. Based on pre-COVID passenger and aircraft operation volumes and existing FAA requirements, ROA expects that a runway enhancement project could begin within the next five years.

Other significant developments of the Master Plan include:

  • Numerous terminal expansions to increase passenger holding rooms, improve and expand TSA processing areas and expand options for airport concessions
  • Expanded cargo facilities with enhanced parking and added space for truck maneuvering, making it easier for operators such as FedEx or UPS to process and deliver freight efficiently
  • New corporate aviation hangars and air carrier maintenance facility
  • Further rental car expansion, improved parking, cellphone and overflow lot

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