Airport Officials Looking at Future Development

Greenbrier Valley Airport officials are considering how to develop about 80 acres of currently unused industrial park land.

That future development will figure into an updated master plan being funded by a $422,304 U.S. Department of Transportation grant announced by U.S. Rep. Evan Jenkins on Friday and Sens. Shelley Moore Capito and Joe Manchin Monday, according to airport manager Steve Snyder.

The possibilities for the land include an expanded parking area, as well as a ramp addition and construction of a hangar "large enough for a 737," Snyder said. Studies of the industrial park are already under way, he added.

As part of the master plan's update, officials are now surveying the boundaries of all of the airport's property, including assessing the age and condition of buildings and infrastructure and creating aerial maps of the property. Once the update is completed, Snyder said, Greenbrier Valley will be the first airport in West Virginia to have an electronic airport plan.

While the master plan is updated every 10 years, Snyder said the document looks forward 20 years, formulating alternate plans for growth. That pre-planning is particularly important at a site like Greenbrier Valley's, he said, remarking, "There's only so much flat land available for expansion."

Snyder is also excited about the prospect of a change in the airport's commercial airline carrier, with the DOT still in the final stages of approving the proposed deal for Via Air to step in this fall.

With Via Air's Charlotte hub, Snyder said he expects to be able to offer travelers vacation trips to Florida at under $300 per ticket, enhancing Greenbrier Valley's competitiveness when stacked up against the local region's larger airports in Charleston and Roanoke, Va.

By:  Tina Alvey
Source: Beckley Register-Herald