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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor , a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Tech's new airport terminal dedicated

By David Nutter

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 25 - March 28, 1996

Virginia Tech dedicated its new $1.689-million airport terminal project Friday at a ceremony attended by state and university officials.

In addition to remarks by Virginia Tech President Paul Torgersen, Shirley J. Ybarra, state deputy secretary of transportation, spoke about the collaborative nature of the project and the role the facility will play in promoting economic development for the New River Valley.

As a community project, the facility was jointly funded by Virginia Tech and federal and state governments. Specifically, the Federal Aviation Administration contributed $334,700 of the cost, the state contributed $1.4 million, and Virginia Tech contributed $210,500.

"This new 6,890-square-foot facility will be an important link in connecting the New River Valley with business opportunities around the nation," said Larry Hincker, director of University Relations. "It will be the front door of the New River Valley."

While 9th District Congressman Rick Boucher could not attend the dedication ceremony because of legislative business in Washington, D.C., in prepared remarks he praised Virginia Tech officials for their diligence and hard work to seeing the renovation of the airport completed.

"Dr. Torgersen and Minnis Ridenour are to be especially commended for their tireless efforts in promoting economic growth and development in the New River Valley," said Congressman Boucher.

The terminal building houses a large passenger lounge, pilot lounge, flight-planning room, and public conference room.

The airport was begun in 1929. The 13,294-square-foot hanger was built in 1940 on 310 acres of land.

Owned and operated by Virginia Tech, it is the only airport in Virginia which belongs to the state.

There are approximately 34,000 operations each year at the airport, consisting primarily of small single, twin-engine, and corporate aircraft. Of transient operations, 31.9 percent are business-related.

Over the last several years, the airport has undergone extensive modernization. These include extending the runway, improving lighting, and constructing a parallel taxiway alongside the runway. New instrumentation has been installed, including a localizer instrument-approach system, a satellite weather-retrieval system, distance-measuring system, and the Automated Weather Observation System, which provides real-time weather to the National Weather Service.