ASHEVILLE — The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority this week more than $5 million in grant funding for an ongoing airfield redevelopment project.
Funding will be spent at the Asheville Regional Airport on Project SOAR, an acronym for significant opportunity for aviation and the region. It is a $75 million redevelopment project in four phases that includes constructing a new runway and a west-side taxiway to serve Western North Carolina, spokesperson Tina Kinsey said Wednesday.
AVL currently is in the fourth phase of the project with the new runway scheduled to open late this year or early next year, the airport’s website shows.
“It is good news for our region and airport to have the support of the Federal Aviation Administration as we complete this very important airfield project,” Asheville Regional Airport Executive Director Lew Bleiweis said in a news release this week.
Bleiweis added that once the airport’s infrastructure upgrade is complete, it will be “ready to serve air service needs in our region for decades to come.”
The airport is governed by GARAA, a board made up of appointments from the Asheville City Council, the Buncombe County Commission, the Henderson County Commission as well as a regional at-large appointment.
AVL has been open to the public on Terminal Drive in Fletcher since 1961.