Norfolk airport negotiates runway expansion, more direct flights

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — During a State of the City luncheon on Thursday, Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms called for more direct flights out of Norfolk plus plans for a possible second runway.

“An Environmental Impact Statement just got underway for a second runway at the airport, which will ultimately draw more investment, more jobs and more tourists to the our region,” he said.

But when WAVY.com talked to the airport’s Deputy Executive Director, Robert Bowen, he stopped short of calling Mayor Sessoms’ remarks premature.

“We’re still in the negotiation stages, and until everything is finalized, we weren’t ready to make an announcement,” he said. “And also, it very well might be that the Federal Aviation Administration might want to make that announcement before we do.”

Options now include extending or replacing the crosswind runway or adding a parallel runway next to the main runway.

“If a parallel runway is built, that’s one of the things the study will look at, it would have minimal impact on neighborhoods around the airport,” Bowen said.

Also at the luncheon, the Mayor said he wants more direct flights out of Nofolk to the West Coast and maybe even western Europe.

“I’m tired of layovers between two or three flights to get to where I’m going, aren’t you? This is simply unacceptable,” Sessoms said.

Bowen said the airport is working on that: “Not only attracting new service, but maintaining the service we currently have here at the airport, working with our incumbent carriers and carriers that aren’t currently serving the market.”

He said it is an on-going process.

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