The New River Valley Airport has received two grants worth nearly $750,000 to expand its aircraft parking ramp.

The project will allow the airport more space to park aircraft and transport air cargo. This year the airport has moved more than 294,000 pounds of air freight, an increase of nearly 215% from 2018, according to a news release from Pulaski County. The heavy increase in traffic is due to the economic growth in the area, according to airport Manager Keith Holt.

The grants from the Federal Aviation Administration cover 90% ($682,738) of the project, while the one from the Virginia Department of Aviation covers 8% ($60,687). The NRV Airport is pitching in $15,173 of its own funds for the project. The grant funds come from state and federal fuel taxes as opposed to the general fund, according to the release.

The ramp expansion of 21,675 square feet will increase the existing space by 20% to 25%, according to Holt. He said construction is set to begin in September and should take around 90 days to complete. The project, awarded through bidding, will be constructed by W-L Construction and Paving Inc. of Chilhowie.

Holt said the airport had been in talks with each agency for a year, but only applied for the grants in the past few months.

The NRV Airport is a 469-acre general aviation airport located 2 miles north of Dublin on Virginia 100, directly adjacent to the New River Valley Commerce Park. The airport’s 6,201-foot-long runway can handle a wide array of corporate jets and has all-weather instrument landing capabilities.

Holt said that in addition to allowing more traffic to come through the facility, expanding the airport’s ramp will benefit agencies like the commerce park when trying to draw new businesses to the area.

The facility is operated by the New River Valley Airport Commission, which is comprised of several local jurisdictions: Pulaski, Montgomery and Giles counties, the city of Radford, and the towns of Dublin, Pulaski and Christiansburg.

Pulaski County Administrator Jonathan Sweet expressed the importance of the project in the county’s release.

“The NRV Airport has always been a vital asset and a differentiator in our economic development toolbox, and expanding its capabilities is important to supporting the New River Valley and serving specifically the significant business growth we are experiencing here in Pulaski County,” he said.

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