Big upgrades coming to Luray Caverns Airport
LURAY, Va. (WHSV) - Big things are happening at the Luray Caverns Airport in Page County. The airport is currently constructing a large building that will contain 18 tee hangars to house private planes.
The project costs around $2.9 million and is being funded through around $1 million in federal aviation grants with the remainder being covered through a USDA loan. Construction began a few months ago.
“It was the right time because we had a tremendous demand for tee hangars and all but three of those tee hangars currently have been leased and people have paid one year’s rent in advance. So there was a lot of demand for tee hangars,” said Edwin Markowitz, Secretary-Treasurer of the Luray Page County Airport Authority.
The airport has also secured federal and state grants to help it build a $4 million terminal that will be a big upgrade over its current operations facility.
“We’ve been operating our FDO or our operations out of an old chicken farm since the late 1960s so it will be nice to have a nice permanent building,” said Markowitz.
Markowitz said that the airport’s growth will help to bolster the local economy.
“It all flows to the economic performance of the airport. It generates economic activity and the entire community benefits from that,” he said. “We have a lot of tourist traffic, people fly in for the national park and the caverns, people just fly in because it’s a beautiful place. They go to town, they eat, they stay in the hotels, they rent cars, there is always a flurry of activity.”
As the airport grows there is hope to add an avionics shop on the airport’s ground in the near future. Markowitz said it is important for people to remember that despite the high costs of the projects they are not being funded through local taxes.
“When we receive funding for this airport it’s not your tax dollars, it’s money that gets accumulated by the state and the feds for airport improvement funds. They generate that money through taxes on aviation fuel and aviation services,” he said.
The tee hangar building is expected to be completed in September. Construction of the terminal will begin in May and take around a year to complete.
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