Congressman Rick Boucher (D-Virginia) joined area officials at the New River Valley Airport in Dublin Monday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the runway rehabilitation project.
The process for this project started nearly ten years ago and the groundbreaking was made possible by countless hours of dedicated work by many and significant federal funding.
The NRV Airport offers the longest and widest runway at a general aviation center in western Virginia. Currently, the runway extends 6,201 feet.
The airport ships or receives more than 180,000 pounds of cargo each year. Years of use has taken a toll on the runway, which currently has grass growing through cracks in some spots and limits to the weight it can support.
The runway was last resurfaced 20 years ago, and is in dire need of updates to sustain its viability, according to officials.
“We can do so much more. There are cracks, grass is growing, and the runway is not sturdy enough to support heavier cargo. The goal of this project is to enable the airport to reach its full potential. This airport should support heavier cargo and all corporate aircraft. Having a modern aviation center in our region is essential to many local businesses,” said Boucher.
Boucher was able to secure $400,000 from Congress for the rehabilitation project in 2007, and an additional $475,000 in 2009. He also worked closely with airport officials to secure the additional federal funds needed from the Federal Aviation Administration, bringing the total amount of federal funds to more than $4.7 million.
The total cost of the project is just over $4.9 million. The Virginia Division of Aviation provided $149,649. The remaining $99,766 was contributed by New River Valley Airport Commission and the Industrial Development Authorities of Pulaski, Montgomery and Giles counties and the City of Radford.
The runway rehabilitation will improve the safety of aircraft on the runway and will enable the airport to maintain its status as a critical part of our region’s economic activity.
Boucher said, “The presence of a well-developed airport is essential to our economic development goals for Southwest Virginia, making the region more attractive to businesses seeking to expand operations into new areas and assisting locally-owned businesses to operate on a larger scale.”