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Norfolk International Airport

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Wonder if San Diego has to deal with these type of issues? Their airport and military facilities are just across the bay from each other.  

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After digging around...found that San Diego ONLY has one runway. They handle 20+ million per year and it's just 400' longer. Since the Navy says no to Norfolk it seems our airport officials may need to pay a visit to San Diego Int. to see how they move so many. Norfolk isn't anywhere near those numbers. 

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The fact of the matter is major corporations pass us up because we don't have major connections to other cities in the country. The only way for us to get those connections is by expanding this airport. What the Navy has done has basically been to say you can grow no further. This is an untenable situation.

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City Council and the Chamber may need to step in on this one. The primary reason we lost Norfolk Southern was because of our airport situation. Of course, the Navy doesn't find that relevant because again, it's the military. But somebody has to knock them down a peg and make them realize we need more than just defense in our economy.

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1 hour ago, BFG said:

City Council and the Chamber may need to step in on this one. The primary reason we lost Norfolk Southern was because of our airport situation. Of course, the Navy doesn't find that relevant because again, it's the military. But somebody has to knock them down a peg and make them realize we need more than just defense in our economy.

All the while they keep chipping away at their presence by moving ships to FL, and threatening us with BRAC that if we don’t do something to mitigate the effects of sea water rise they may pull up anchor all together.

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1 hour ago, NFKjeff said:

All the while they keep chipping away at their presence by moving ships to FL, and threatening us with BRAC that if we don’t do something to mitigate the effects of sea water rise they may pull up anchor all together.

I think people would be surprised what that would do for the city. So many focus on the lost jobs, they ignore the opportunity that would be presented. That's a lot of land (and much of it waterfront) that would be returning to the tax rolls.

It would take time to recover those lost jobs, but if done correctly it could result in some awesome development.

Edited by BeagleAccountant
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I'd hate to see the military go, but that land would be perfect for (oddly enough) a new airport. That was the plan had Oceana shut down in the mid-2000s. 

I read the comments on the Pilot Facebook page, and people point out that the Navy wants to work with the airport on talking this out. Hopefully they start looking forward.

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I am questioning why they would even have to move the helicopter training planes and helicopters fly at completely different levels. I get that the planes at ORF usually fly over little creek to land but there's little to no helos flying there. 

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11 hours ago, Urbanlooker said:

I am questioning why they would even have to move the helicopter training planes and helicopters fly at completely different levels. I get that the planes at ORF usually fly over little creek to land but there's little to no helos flying there. 

The takeoff and landing approach of a second runway requires adequate clearing distance beyond the runway that narrows as you get closer to the runway. The bounds of this area are called clear zones (CZ) and accident potential zones (APZ). It’s the same reason VB bought out many homes around Oceana after the plane crash to ensure the Air Station wouldn’t relocate and close. 

Planning and coordination between the Navy and Norfolk Airport for this eventuality should have been going on 40 years ago to avoid training and airport operation conflicts. 

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One common thread between the situations in Virginia Beach and Norfolk is that it seems as though the Navy planned on us always being some sort of backwater, and population growth far exceeded their expectations. A lot of these areas were sparsely populated in the beginning. I understand this is not ideal for them, but they're going to need to learn to roll with the punches on this one and work in concert with the community instead of against them.

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One condensed terminal, unless I’m reading this wrong, doesn’t seem like something for a growing airport. I also think maybe the baggage claim building should become the check in counter, and move baggage claims back to the main terminal like it used to be.

The biggest problem with the main terminal is that it’s just so outdated. It’s also really dark and in need of more windows. 

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I read it as basically having one security line for both concourses instead of two.  A lot of airports do that, and with the limited amount of concessions that ORF has, it'd be nice if you had to stay in one concourse for a while. 

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It's really unfortunate the military is calling the shots with this needed runway. If San Diego can operate a much busier airport with one runway hopefully we can figure something out.

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That was my point, San Diego has figured out how to increase passenger count, expand airlines and international flights with only one runway. A 2nd runway isn't a silver bullet that makes everything better and bigger. Now, I know these two airports/cities are different in many, many ways. However, they both are military towns with one runway airports but one has been able to expand and become less dependent on the military over the years. They may actually have to take a hard look at their marketing and operation departments to see if a 2nd runway is REALLY what's holding ORF back. While I'm not happy with the military calling the shots but they are here and they just did. It probably wouldn't be a bad idea just to take a look at how the City of San Diego and their airport authority do things. They may find they have some bottom feeders in multiple departments that aren't doing everything they can to promote and expand the airport services in it's current form. It's easy to sit back and say, "We can't increase counts/services because of we don't have 2nd runway". We have six airlines...why not 8, 10 or 12? Why don't we have any international flights? I'm sure there are people here and even Richmond that would love to fly direct to London. Are there currently consistent airport delays because we have too many arrivals and departures, don't think so. If the only reason is "We don't have a 2nd runway", well I think that's a cop-out and needs to be addressed a little closer.   

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Apparently that's the airport's best month in its 80-plus-year history.

Hopefully we'll get word on a (nonstop) international flight soon. I was on Facebook the other day, and saw a friend flew to the Bahamas from Richmond. I think the islands, Canada, and maybe even one European destination should be ORF's next destinations as they continue growing.

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I looked at a couple other airports in metros smaller than or comparable to HR. From what I found:

-Buffalo's airport (metro 1.2M): 5M passengers
-Raleigh (metro 1.2M): 14M passengers (!!!)
-OKC (metro 1.4M): 4.3M

For Norfolk to have nearly 2M people but only hit 3M passengers a year baffles me. I know the trends in the industry impact things, but I would think ORF would do all it can to keep people from going to Richmond or BWI. More direct routes and international destinations is a start, but reducing airfare prices wouldn't hurt either. It's no reason why an airport in a market this size can't see 5M a year.

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