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Norfolk International Airport


willy

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8.55% increase in passengers for April 2016. Still well off peak levels in the mid 2000s, but on a positive track. 11th consecutive month of increases. Hopefully the trend continues and we can start to see new destinations, especially out west like LAX, LAS, or SFO.

http://www.norfolkairport.com/sites/default/files/April%202016%20Media%20Release%20_2_.pdf

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I believe when BRAC suggested closing Oceana in the 2000s, an airport was a suggested replacement. I really don't wanna be the "typical Norfolk" cynic when I realize they didn't build for the future, but it's tempting. No reason for a region the size of HR to have such a small-town airport. Even Richmond is passing us. 

If they were to build a new airport, I'd say Chesapeake or Suffolk off 58. Not Wakefield.

ETA: reading the article, it says that any "solutions" would only hold ORF over for 10-12 years, and that approval for a second runway is not likely. I think it's time to seriously consider a new airport. I just really hate the idea of it being in Wakefield.

Edited by BFG
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We need a new airport, period. I'm tired of us getting screwed over by the federal government. Height limits at the oceanfront, can't expand our airport, two multi million dollar projects downtown killed because the courts MIGHT expand. It's time we extricate ourselves from this Faustian bargain. We need to build in areas far away from government intervention and lesson our dependence on the military. This is just getting ridiculous now.

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My uninformed opinion is that the reason ORF is somewhat subpar is because of PHF.  We really don't have the population to support two competing airports.  RIC is passing ORF because it's the only major airport in RIC.  Imagine if all the flights from PHF and ORF came out of the same facility...  Also Southwest cut wayback in Norfolk after they acquired Airtran, I'm assuming because they had a bunch of Airtran flights at PHF.

Check out these stats from 2014:

ORF 1488114
PHF 259082
PHF and ORF = 1747196


RIC 1671096

So build a second runway or relocate ORF.  Close PHF.  Become a hub to some airline.  Done deal.

I know a lot of folks that are driving to RIC from Hampton Roads to fly due to cheaper flights and more availability, myself included.  Tempted to not use Southwest anymore since they're making things more of a pain for me locally.

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While Oceana closing would have hurt badly in the short to medium term, I am confident we would have recovered and excelled in the long term. We have too many natural resources and are situated in far too good of a location to be in economic turmoil for too long. Perhaps it's time to rip the band-aid off...

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If "they" decided tomorrow that they wanted to move the airport, how long do you think it would take to get the first airplane off the runway?  If they could get approvals, that is. I'd say 20-25 years. 

Bruce Thompson would like to see a super-regional airport way out there in Wakefield  or somewhere. He assumes Richmond would be interested, obviously. I'm not sure why they would be.

PHF was likely a mistake.  I think it split the market.  Since the mid 2000's when we had more passenger traffic than Richmond, we've been mostly losing ground while they've been mostly gaining ground. RIC exceeds ORF in passenger count by over 10%.  I believe that they have three commercially viable runways while we have only one. Ridiculous. 

 

Edited by baobabs727
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11 minutes ago, Virginia City said:

I agree with BFG there is a good area next to the Executive Airport at the Suffok/Chesapeake line. Where did you hear about putting it in Wakefield?

That was what the Pilot reported earlier this year. Apparently that idea dates back to the 90s. 

https://pilotonline.com/news/government/virginia/is-hampton-roads-mega-regional-airport-a-fantasy-legislative-study/article_4763fed1-7738-5efc-8e77-9a187da8626b.html

If I had to predict, I'd guess it would be 2030 at the earliest.

I went to Dallas last year, and flew into Love Field. It wasn't a particularly huge airport compared to DFW, but it would be a nice-sized airport for Hampton Roads. I do wonder if they could somehow build a new terminal at the current ORF space (say, where the long term parking is), then demolish the existing terminal. It's tiny and outdated, and all the renovations in the world won't bring it into the 21st Century.

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6 hours ago, BFG said:

I do wonder if they could somehow build a new terminal at the current ORF space (say, where the long term parking is), then demolish the existing terminal. It's tiny and outdated, and all the renovations in the world won't bring it into the 21st Century.

It's actually pretty nice inside right now with all the renovations...  I'd think there is room to extend Concourse A and even build a C to the south if it was ever needed but they only have a few gates in use at a time anyway with the current passenger load.

Check out Midway in Chicago.  22 million passengers a year in a smaller footprint than ORF.

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Let's be real. Newport News isn't going to all of a sudden close NNW Airport because some people think it would make Norfolk Intl bigger. It isn't going anywhere. It's called competition. Also, an airport won't be built in Wakefield. Who in Hampton Roads would drive all the way out there? Not me.

The best thing that could happen is Norfolk has room to build concourse C where the long-term parking is at. They build a walkway over the short-term parking like concourse A has, Build a nice, new terminal, and relocate long-term parking.

What Norfolk Intl also needs to do is lure a couple of airlines there as a hub. They also need to have SOME international flights out of ORF. I mean, it is called Norfolk International yet there isn't any international flights out of it. Bring in airlines that would do direct flights to Bermuda and locations in the Caribbean. Maybe offer cheaper flights to the smaller airports in Europe such as London Luton and London Stansted as alternates to Heathrow and Gatwick.

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An interesting read and some nice photographs and renderings. I think perhaps we don't give them enough credit for this ongoing renovation. It is quite extensive. And stunning, visually.  Truly gives a vastly improved first and last impression  of our area. And there's something to be said for that.

https://www.greshamsmith.com/showcase/projects/showcase-8/norfolk-comprehensive-airport-improvements

 

Edited by baobabs727
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  • 3 months later...

Good news. Because it's all about demand. And numbers. Sheer numbers. Until we get the requisite demand, we won't see international or even West Coast direct… Much less expansion . That's why Bruce Thompson wants to basically merge the RIC and ORF/PHF airports because he knows that sheer numbers are the only to make possible a hub, int'l and direct west coast flights, and much greater visibility for the region vis-a-vis domestic and int'l big business & tourism.

Edited by baobabs727
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I love his concept. I just hate that he wants it to be in the middle of nowhere. Emporia or wherever (Wakefield?) is really not ideal for either the HRVA or RVA markets, and unfortunately neither of the existing airports within the 757 have much room to significantly expand, unfortunately.

It's too bad Frontier didn't last out here.

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Allegiant Air has come to Norfolk and offers a few weekly flights to FL. Doing a quick search I found flights from ORF to FLL  (Ft. Lauderdale) for $49 each way. It's only a few flights per week but it's a step in the right direction.

https://pilotonline.com/news/local/transportation/new-airline-coming-to-norfolk-international-airport-boasting-flights-to/article_789af365-2f96-591f-8d60-38432728d6a5.html

https://www.allegiantair.com/

 

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