Runway construction is big business for the country’s airports, as both a driver of jobs and an economic impact. Two cities recently opened new runways that both claim will be a benefit to travelers and the local community.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida recently opened the $719 million, 8,000-foot South Runway, built to help the facility with growing traffic. The airport is one of the fastest growing in the United States. Passenger traffic at the airport in August 2014 reached more than two million, up 5 percent from the previous year.
The new runway is part of a larger airport construction project that includes: $52 million and $39 million in design and construction costs to modernize Terminal 2 and Terminal 3, respectively; $295 million for a new Terminal 1 and Concourse A; and $31 million to design and build the North Runway.
Further north, Virginia’s Hampton Roads Executive Airport, a general aviation facility, opened a new $30 million, 5,350-foot runway in September that took 14 years of work to complete. The public-use, privately owned general aviation airport supports five flight schools, an aerial photography business, aviation maintenance and avionics, banner tow operations, aircraft brokerage, corporate and business aviation activities, recreational aviation, and the Blue Skies Grille restaurant.
The airport sits at the intersection of I-64, I-664, I-264 and Route 58 and is ranked number two in Virginia among the state’s non-towered airports in annual operations, and number three for economic drivers among all the state’s general aviation airports.
So, look at your local commercial and general aviation airports for story ideas on their economic impact on the community.
Benét J. Wilson is co-editor of AirwaysNews.com and blogs at AviationQueen.com. She has been an aviation/travel journalists for more than 20 years. Follow her on Twitter @AvQueenBenet