Posted by Terry Alexander - email
CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Chesterfield is now looking to the skies when it comes to future economic growth. The county is working to come up with a master plan for it's general aviation airport.
The goal county leaders say is to bring more corporate business into the airport and they say the best way to do that is to expand then partner with Richmond International.
"There is a lot of room for growth here. A lot," said Flight Instructor Brandon Turner.
From the air to on the ground, those involved with Chesterfield county airport say they see huge potential.
"We are good location and a great spot it sure is a great engine in developing the county and the economy," said Chesterfield Airport Manager Thomas Trudeau.
Right now, the airport brings in more than $16 million each year. Most of the money comes from corporate planes flying in and out along with general aviation. But county leaders believe the airport can do better.
They're now working with a firm to come up with a new master plan for the airport.
"We are just looking to the future and trying to meet the need as growth continues," said Trudeau.
One item that will definitely be in the plan includes expanding the runway by 500 feet. That will allow larger corporate planes to take off and land which means Chesterfield county could become the number one corporate and general aviation overflow airport for Richmond International. But first Trudeau says the airport has to become more visible.
Airport leaders say the best way to meet their goal is to reconnect the airport with the community.
"Airport can not be more or less than the community wants it to be and Chesterfield county is made up of a whole lot of residents who may not know what an airport does and how it affects them," Trudeau said.
That's why the expansion will also call for a hike and bike trail around the airport along with an observation area and a park. Ideas county leaders hope will land Chesterfield as one of the top places to fly into in the area.
Chesterfield hopes to have a proposed plan in place by August. Hanover county is also looking to bring more business into it's airport as well. It's now started to assemble Italian planes.