Runway lengthening project at Chesterfield Airport - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Study for runway lengthening project at Chesterfield Airport underway

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

The Chesterfield County airport is one said to have a $27 million annual impact, but officials say a longer runway could be an even bigger boost to the county.

The process of lengthening a runway is a long one, but one of the biggest steps is underway- an environmental impact study.

The study looks at 18 key environmental factors, asking questions about light, noise, nearby streams, rare species, or possible burial grounds.

So far, officials haven't found anything unusual.

The longer runway is appealing because corporate jets carrying more fuel could take off from Chesterfield and travel father without stopping.

"Time is money to these people," said Charles Dane with the airport.

It's one of the first questions the economic development office sees from prospective business investors- How close and how big is the closest airport?

It's not good news for all the residents in Chesterfield County. In some scenarios for lengthening the runway, officials say they would need to move a church and several homes.

Officials say many decisions about what happens tot he runway are made based on the environmental assessment.

"We'll work closely with residents as we move along and let them know what impacts do exist," said Dane.

There will be another public meeting sometime in April - the date still to be determined - at the airport for anyone who's impacted to ask more questions.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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