Virginia Airport Faces Lengthy Construction Project

Danville runway improvements predicted to take a year and a half to complete.

Last week the FAA announced that Danville Regional Airport, a non-towered field located in south central Virginia, has been awarded a $10 million grant under the Airport Improvement Program to regrade its primary instrument Runway 2/20. Although the FAA estimates that the project will begin this month and conclude by November 2013, the manager at the Danville airport predicts the project will most likely take closer to 18 months to complete and may not begin until sometime early next year.

"We're submitting the grant proposal today," Airport Manager Marc Adelman told Flying, noting that construction plans still need to be submitted and approved. The redesign, which will also affect Taxiways F and E, will require changing the runway drainage system and as a result, shortening the runway from 6,500 to 5,893 feet and reducing its width from 150 to 100 feet, Adelman said.

To compensate for the loss of the ILS or LOC Runway 2 approach during the construction period, Adelman said that FAA is scheduled to complete a flight check on Oct. 6 for a new GPS Runway 31 approach. The airport also has VOR approaches to both ends of runway 2/20.

NetJets is the airport’s primary corporate user, Adelman said, especially during events at nearby Virginia International Raceway. There are several big races coming up this fall, and Adelman said he expects to park more than 20 jets on his ramp during each event. Danville Regional Airport averages about 50 daily operations otherwise.