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Renovations at Danville Regional Airport required from the FAA

Construction started Monday and isn't taking off anytime soon.

March 26, 2013|Justin Ward | WDBJ7 Reporter

DANVILLE, Va. — Some are calling a multi-million dollar renovation project at Danville Regional Airport a burden in disguise.

The money is being used to flatten and shorten a runway making visibility better for pilots, but it's keeping big jets from coming to town.

The Federal Aviation Administration says the airport doesn't meet its guidelines.

Airport leaders first wanted a grant from the FAA to repave the runways.

In order to get it, the airport has to follow directions.

Renovations are scheduled to take 18 months and are mandatory after the airport requested a grant to resurface runways full of cracks.

"In order to secure federal funding it was a condition that we meet current design standards," said Marc Adelman, the transportation services director at Danville Regional Airport.

Crews started Monday shaving off a 10 foot hump from the main runway to make it flat.

"It's very difficult for pilots to see half way down the runway, which is a requirement of the FAA," Adelman said.

They're also resurfacing and shortening the runway six hundred feet and narrowing it by 50 feet to meet FAA standards.


While crews are on the runway corporate jet liners that visit Danville industries aren't allowed.

"Most jets in a minimum of five thousand feet and during construction only three thousand feet will be available during the first two thirds of the project so jet aircraft access will be extremely limited," Adelman said.

The FAA's acting administrator told WDBJ7 last year the nine and a half million dollar construction project fixes safety concerns.

Its using nearly three and a half billion dollars to update more than three thousand airports nationwide.

An employee with General Aviation, Incorporated, says the renovations are making its owners panic.

General Aviation has sold jet fuel at the airport for 65 years and is its main income.

Since construction is estimated to take a year and a half, the small business may be forced to close.

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