Roanoke’s airport seeing a traffic rebound from COVID-19
ROANOKE, Va. – Airport passengers are starting to fly again as Virginia’s COVID-19 cases continue to decline. Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport reports its passenger traffic to start the spring is 60% of what it would have been before the pandemic. The airport’s director of marketing, Brad Boettcher, said lower fares and increased COVID-19 vaccinations are the main reasons for the rise in travel. “It’s just getting people with shots in arms who are comfortable getting out and traveling again,” Boettcher said. “The weather is improving and people do want to get out.”Boettcher does not expect the airport to experience pre-pandemic levels of passenger traffic until next year.
Small plane crash lands at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
ROANOKE, Va. – Crews cleared a runway after a small plane crash landed at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Saturday morning. At about 10:45 a.m., a Cessna T210N with two people on board crash landed at the airport. Authorities said no one was hurt. The airport’s Rescue and Firefighting and Operations crews responded to the incident. Officials said the aircraft was removed from the runway with clean-up soon wrapping up.
Roanoke airport ends 2020 down 59% from 2019
ROANOKE, Va. – 2020 is over and it’s a year that the airline industry certainly wants to leave in the past. For the year, the 291,718 passengers to fly into and out of Roanoke mark a 59% decrease from 2019′s 719,707. For December, the airport saw a 6% drop from November’s numbers; however, that holds true every year since 2015. December 2020 had 23,384 people fly, which represents a drastic improvement since April’s 1,823 total passengers. “Passengers are more and more comfortable with the measures taken by the air carriers and airports to ensure their safety,” stated David Jeavons, interim executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.
Acrylic shields installed at Lynchburg, Roanoke airports to protect passengers and TSA
LYNCHBURG, Va. – Local airports now have plexiglass shields designed to keep you safe before you fly. The TSA just installed the acrylic shields at Lynchburg Regional Airport. Lynchburg airport officials told 10 News the protectors add another layer of safety. All of these work together to help keep the traveling public safe,” said Cedric Simon, assistant director of the Lynchburg Regional Airport. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport also installed the shields.
Roanoke airport executives resign after internal investigation
ROANOKE, Va. – Two executives at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport have resigned after they were placed on administrative leave pending an investigation last year. Officials with the airport confirmed Tuesday evening that executive director Timothy Bradshaw and director of planning and engineering Richard Osbourne both resigned. As 10 News reported back in November, Bradshaw and Osborne were on administrative leave pending an investigation. Airport officials said the internal investigation was regarding a procedural matter, but did not release further details to the public about it. Bradshaw has been with the airport since 2014.
Roanoke airport travel slowly increasing, but pandemic recovery could take years
ROANOKE, Va. – The parking lot was packed and suitcases stuffed as holiday travelers file in and out of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Tuesday morning. The airport’s director of marketing air service development, Brad Boettcher, said fewer travelers means deals to expand service to Dallas and Houston were put on hold. And if customers need to travel, we want to be ready and available for them when they are,” said Boettcher. Even though we’re only nine months into the pandemic, it could take years for the airport to recover. Boettcher said it all depends on the vaccine, the economy and how comfortable and safe travelers feel hopping on a plane.
Roanoke airport sees small dip in November fliers
ROANOKE, Va. – While airport traffic was down in Roanoke last month, that quick thought doesn’t tell the whole story. In November, 25,020 people flew into and out of Roanoke, according to the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. The airport cited two reasons for the dip in numbers: the one fewer day of November and college students. “Passengers are more and more comfortable with the measures taken by the air carriers and airports to ensure their safety,” stated David Jeavons, acting executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. While October 2020 was down 62.91% from Oct. 2019, November 2020 was down just 60.15% from Nov. 2019.
Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport sees bump in holiday traffic while many opt for road trips
ROANOKE, Va. – Holiday travel is already in swing with more people hitting the road rather than flying by air. On Tuesday, 700 people came through the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, making it the busiest day the airport has seen since start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s still trending above the national average and it’s a significant bump from where we were a couple of weeks ago,” said Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport marketing and air service development director Brad Boettcher. Instead, 82% of holiday travelers are opting to drive this year, Meade said. “So I think it’s great we are able to get together now for Thanksgiving.”Boettcher said they don’t expect the return traffic to be nearly as heavy as the outbound traffic, especially since college students may not return until the new year.
Two Roanoke airport executives on administrative leave pending an investigation
ROANOKE, Va. – Two members of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport management team are now on administrative leave. Both Executive Director Timothy Bradshaw and Director of Planning and Engineering Richard Osbourne are on leave pending the completion of an internal investigation regarding a procedural matter, according to a statement from the airport on Monday. In the interim, the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission has appointed the airport’s director of finance and administration, David Jeavons, to act as the interim executive director. The decision to place them on leave was made to protect the integrity of the investigation, according to the statement. This action is not expected to impact day-to-day airport operations or interfere with travel plans during the upcoming holiday season.
Roanoke airport seeing more people return to the skies
ROANOKE, Va. – As the coronavirus pandemic entered its eighth month, more people are flying. In October, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport reported 25,783 passengers, marking an increase of 4,124 passengers, or 19%, compared to September 2020 numbers. Looking back to October 2019 traffic, this October’s numbers were down 62%; however, the airport said on a national level, traffic was off 65%, meaning Roanoke’s airport is performing slightly better than the national trend. In October 2019, 69,517 people flew into and out of the Star City, which represents the aiport’s highest traffic month since 2015. Despite traffic being down year over year, it has increased or remained flat every month since bottoming out in April at just 1,823 passengers.
Roanoke’s airport now has a standalone rental car facility
ROANOKE, Va. – Just in time for the holiday travel season, Roanoke’s airport opened its new car rental facility on Tuesday. The airport’s marketing and air service development director Bradley Boettcher said that before the new development, getting a rental car seemed disjointed as the cars were parked in the long-term lot and the rental counters were in the terminal. The more than $6 million project includes a vestibule, a lobby with four rental car counters, restrooms and a new reconfigured parking lot, which can hold up nearly 200 rental cars. He said with less business travel and the pandemic, their traffic numbers are cut in half, although hopes traffic will pick back up to reach those numbers again. The year and a half construction project was funded by car rental customer facility charges.
Roanoke airport has first flat month since April
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s airport didn’t see much change in its passenger traffic for the second straight month. In September, 21,659 passengers flew into and out of the Star City. Because September is a day shorter than August, the airport doesn’t see the change as a decrease, rather, a flat month. “We are pleased to see passenger traffic holding steady as we move out of summer and into the fall,” said Timothy T. Bradshaw, the executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. In 2016 and 2019, more people flew; however, in 2015, 2017 and 2018 the airport saw an August to September decrease.
Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport not heavily impacted by airline layoffs
ROANOKE, Va. – Tens of thousands of airline employees could be out of a job soon, now that federal relief funding has officially ended for the airline industry. However, Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport will not feel the effects as harshly as other airports. Both carriers fly into ROA, but airline spokesperson Brad Boettcher said the furloughs will likely just result in revised flight schedules. Boettcher said regional airports such as Roanoke are not heavily affected by the furloughs, but large hubs and international airports will be. "That’s where you’re going to see more of the impact: mainline flying, and not necessarily the regional flying we have here.”
August brings a slight increase in travelers at Roanoke’s airport
ROANOKE, Va. – For now, it seems the massive rebound of traffic at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has come to a halt. Last month, 21,704 passengers flew into and out the airport, that’s only 675 more than July. After having only 1,823 passengers in all of April, the airport saw three consecutive months of solid traffic growth. “We are pleased to see passenger traffic rebounding this summer,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. We hope this upward trend continues into the fall.
What’s News Today: High school sports update, drive-up flu clinic
Today, you can tour the Jacksontown School starting at 4 p.m. Social distancing will be practiced. Carilion Clinic holds a drive-up flu vaccine clinic today. Football would have six regular season games over seven weeks, starting on February 22. The Danville City School Board will discuss the search for a new superintendent. The school board hopes to announce a new superintendent in November.
See smoke at Roanoke’s airport, no need to sound the alarm
ROANOKE, Va. – If you see smoke coming from Roanoke’s airport in the next few days, don’t panic. The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport started holding live burn training on Tuesday. The training happens twice a year as the airport brings in an aircraft simulator to mimic what a real-life pit fire, engine fire or rescue would look like. We want to be there and know we’ve felt this before. We know kind of exactly what exactly is going on,” explained Ben Cook, the airport’s director of public safety.
WATCH: Vice President Mike Pence lands in Roanoke before speaking at VMI
ROANOKE, Va. – The Vice President will arrive in Roanoke Thursday afternoon ahead of his speech at VMI. Vice President Mike Pence lands in Roanoke before speaking at VMI Vice President Mike Pence is arriving in Roanoke on Air Force Two ahead of his speech this afternoon at VMI. Posted by WSLS 10 / WSLS.com on Thursday, September 10, 2020Mike Pence landed at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport at about 1:45 p.m.[VMI prepares for Vice President Mike Pence’s visit to speak to cadets]The vice president will be in Lexington to speak to the corps of cadets at 2:05 p.m.; however, given the delay in his arrival, his VMI speech will be delayed as well.
Loaded gun found in Salem mans carry-on bag at Roanoke airport
ROANOKE, Va. Officers stopped a Salem man from taking a handgun onto a plane at Roanokes airport on Thursday, according to the TSA. They found a .22-caliber handgun, loaded with five bullets, in the mans carry-on bag during a TSA checkpoint screening. Airport police confiscated the weapon after being alerted by the TSA agents. It is a law that has been in place long before TSA even existed, said Federal Security Director for the airport Chuck Burke. Our TSA officers are very skilled at detecting firearms and other prohibited items.A typical first offense for carrying a loaded handgun into a checkpoint is $4,100 and can go as high as $13,669 depending on any mitigating circumstances, according to the TSA.
Rebound continues Roanoke airport after abysmal April
ROANOKE, Va. While far fewer people are flying than they were a year ago, the situation is improving for Roanokes airport. Last month, 21,029 passengers flew into and out of the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. Back in April, the airport only had 1,823 passengers. Numbers still remain starkly down from 2019; however, while June 2020 was only about 22% of June 2019s traffic, last month was about 34% of July 2019s traffic. Year-to-date, the airport is still seeing a 65% decrease in traffic with just 174,168 passengers in 2020, compared to 404,238 in 2019.
Roanoke airport traffic jumps 644% in two months
ROANOKE, Va. Far fewer people are flying than they used to, but the industry is seeing a rebound. In June 2020, 13,566 passengers flew into and out of Roanoke, thats up from Mays 6,387 and Aprils 1,823. The first six months of 2020 are also down, 55%, compared to the first half of 2019. Passengers are confident in the measures implemented by the airlines and airport to ensure the safety of passengers. We hope to see this upward trend continue into the fall as the pandemic threat diminishes, said Timothy Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.
Roanoke airport sees 90% decrease from May 2019 numbers
ROANOKE, Va – The coronavirus pandemic has not been good for air travel and last month’s numbers from the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport reflect that. May 2020 passenger traffic was down 90% compared compared to May 2019. Only 6,387 passengers flew into and out of Roanoke, compared with the prior May’s 65,026. “The decrease in airline operations and passenger traffic this spring was not unexpected due to the pandemic,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “We hope to see passenger numbers continue to gradually increase over the summer and into fall if the threat is diminished.
Beyond The Forecast: Spring 2020 was the wettest on record in Roanoke
Roanoke was our wettest community this spring with 20.52 inches of rain falling at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, buoyed by the wettest May on record in the city. This breaks the previous record for wettest spring, which had held for 17 years. It’s also the second wettest year-to-date in Roanoke with 27.86 inches falling so far in 2020. Blacksburg also had a wet spring, coming in second place in the record books at 18.43 inches of precipitation. You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Lynchburg area, the New River Valley, or elsewhere around southwest and central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather.
One hospitalized after small plane’s hard landing at Roanoke airport
ROANOKE, Va. – Two people were hurt during a plane’s landing at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Friday afternoon, according to Roanoke Fire-EMS. At about 1:10 p.m., a Diamond DA20 aircraft had a hard landing on one of the runways and it eventually came to rest in a grass safety area. Star Flight Training announced that one of their flight school aircraft was involved in an accident on Thursday. They said there were no “significant” injuries and that both occupants were doing fine. While initially closed, the runway has since reopened and the airport is operational.
Roanoke airport slowly seeing more passengers, up to at least 100 a day
ROANOKE, Va. There are small signs of progress for the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport. The airport hit an all-time low of just 25 passengers one day last month. In the last 10 days, the airport has seen at least 100 passengers a day. Airport directors said no carriers have pulled out and they don't expect that to happen. Boettcher expects it could take three years to recover 70 to 80% of the capacity the airport saw last year.
Past four-day stretch in Roanoke almost as wet as the Flood of 85
ROANOKE, Va. Those of you that were around here in November of 1985 know that flood to be the benchmark rain event in the Roanoke Valley. This, for Roanoke, is the second-wettest four-day stretch of weather weve had since that benchmark flood. The Roanoke Valley, in its 108-year history of weather records, has never had three straight days of 2 of rain. Comparing this week's rain to Florence and MichaelLets take this one step further. Lets imagine that all that rain in the City of Roanoke fell into Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Roanoke airport sees 97% decrease in passengers from prior April
In January and February, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport saw 7% growth compared to those two months in 2019. In March 2019, the airport saw 58,136 total passengers. That’s a 97% decrease from April 2019′s 60,965 passengers. Looking at more than just Roanoke, the Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, also saw a decrease in March. The airport saw a 55% decrease in passengers from March 2019 to March 2020.
‘I’m fine with it’: Airlines now requiring masks for passengers
Harvey said most people he’s seen in airports are wearing masks. “I feel safer flying, actually," said Harvey. "I fly all the time, so I’m used to it.”Katherine Thatcher is a big fan of masks on airplanes. If you show up for your flight without a mask, airport marketing director Brad Boettcher said there’s no need to panic. As for requiring masks in the airport itself, Boettcher said if that mandate comes down from the CDC the airport will comply, but as of Monday it was optional.
Airlines canceling flights out of Roanoke amid coronavirus travel decreases
ROANOKE, Va. – If you have plans to fly out of Roanoke, you’ll want to make sure they’re still happening. That’s the advice the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is giving travelers as airlines are canceling flights out of the Star City because of significant decreases in passenger traffic. American, Delta and United are often canceling flights either the day before, or the day of flights, according to airport representatives. At the Lynchburg Regional Airport, officials said they used to have seven daily flights scheduled to and from Charlotte with American Airlines. Now, there are only three or four daily flights.
Roanoke airport continues seeing upward trend
ROANOKE, Va. – For the 28th consecutive month, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is seeing growth. January 2020 saw 53,016 passengers fly into and out of the airport, marking a 7.1% increase over January 2019′s 49,464. “We are pleased to see this positive trend continue into 2020, especially given our strong traffic numbers in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019,” said Timothy Bradshaw, the executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Passenger demand is a critical factor when speaking with airlines regarding improving and increasing air service to our region. Using our existing air service is the only way we will get more air service.
Roanoke airport wraps up 2019 with continued growth
ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke’s airport finished the decade on a high note. In December 2019, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport saw a more than 17% increase in passengers compared to December 2018. 2019 was also the highest number of travelers at the airport in the past five years and a 8.9% increase from 2018. Here’s a look by the numbers:719,707The number of total passengers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport during 201961,827The number of total passengers at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport during December 2019300December 2019′s increase of 9,329 passengers compared to Dec. 2018 equates to 300 more passengers flying each day. We appreciate the support of our community choosing to fly ROA and not driving out of market to fly,” said Tim Bradshaw, executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.
Roanoke airport seeing more and more people flying
ROANOKE, Va. – Through 11 months of 2019, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport has nearly had more passengers than all of 2018. “We are pleased to see this positive trend continue through 2019, especially given our strong traffic numbers in 2016, 2017 and 2018,” stated Timothy T. Bradshaw, A.A.E., executive director of the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. “Passenger demand is a critical factor when speaking with airlines regarding improving and increasing air service to our region. Robust air service is a critical component for economic growth in the region. Using our existing air service is the only way we will get more air service.
Boeing 737 Max groundings affecting potential new flight at Roanoke airport
ROANOKE, Va. – While you won’t see a Boeing 737 Max landing in Roanoke, the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport is feeling the effects of the grounding of these jets. A spokesperson for the airport said Monday that American Airlines is down about 50 planes and that those losses are the biggest obstacle holding back a potential new flight to Dallas. An air service consulting firm that the airport hired recently released a report showing a direct option to Dallas would be profitable. Getting more regional planes is one option for American, he said, and one of those planes may become the Roanoke-to-Dallas flight. Delta doesn’t use the specific plane from Boeing, and most of the flights in and out of Roanoke are in planes smaller than those.
California man stopped at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport with loaded gun in carry-on
ROANOKE, Va. - A California man was stopped by TSA Tuesday morning at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport after bringing a loaded gun in his carry-on through security, according to TSA. A TSA officer found the gun inside the man's carry-on bag as it went through the security checkpoint's X-ray monitor, according to TSA. Airport police confiscated the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge, according to TSA. Across the U.S., officers found 4,239 guns in carry-on bags at security checkpoints in 2018. 86% of them were loaded and nearly 34% had a bullet in the chamber, according to TSA.
TSA baggage-screening equipment repaired after being down at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
ROANOKE, Va. - UPDATEThe screening equipment has been repaired and is working again. Transportation Security Administration screening equipment is temporarily down at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport, according to airport officials. Officials ask travelers to allow for additional travel time for check-in and screening, as TSA officials will have to manually screen baggage. Airport officials say a technician is en route for repairs, but they don't know at this time when the problem will be fixed. Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.
Charlotte bound flight returns to Roanoke due to smoke coming from lavatory
ROANOKE, Va. - Smoke coming from an airplane lavatory caused a flight to return to Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Saturday. According to an airport spokesperson, a Piedmont Airlines flight was traveling to Charlotte, when the pilot radioed Air Traffic Control about the issue. An Alert 2 was issued, meaning airport and local fire crews prepared for an incident. Fire crews did not board the plane upon its return to Roanoke. Passengers were removed from the plane and it was taken out of service.
Firefighters practice burn emergency strategies at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
ROANOKE, Va. - If you see flames coming from Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport this week, don't worry. Those unique factors are why the Federal Aviation Administration requires these trainings to happen at least once a year. A mat filled with propane and a mock-up of an aircraft give airport, city and county firefighters the realistic experience they need. "So, if something does happen, it's instinct and you're just responding, as opposed to having to think about what to do. And that's why we not only train for the airport firefighters but we also bring in our partners in the city and county so they can train, as well," said Brad Boettcher, the director of marketing and air service development at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport.
TSA stops Florida man with loaded gun at Roanoke-Blacksburg airport
ROANOKE, Va. - A Transportation Security Administration officer at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport stopped a Florida man who brought a loaded gun through a security checkpoint Sunday. The TSA officer who was working the checkpoint's X-ray monitor spotted a 9 mm handgun inside the man's carry-on bag, according to TSA. TSA says officials discovered the gun was loaded with seven bullets, including one in the chamber. Officials notified airport police, who confiscated the handgun and cited the man on a weapons charge, according to TSA. This is the third gun that officers have detected at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport so far this year, according to TSA.
Roanoke airport vying for new nonstop flights to major U.S. hub
ROANOKE, Va. - The Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport wants to add new flights to one of the biggest hubs in the country. The airport is in talks with American Airlines to add nonstop flights to and from Dallas. Airport leaders plan to meet with American Airlines representatives in September to discuss the incentive packages the Roanoke airport has offered. Roanoke airport officials say most travelers fly west, so the new deal would put more seats on the market, which means cheaper tickets. Airport officials say the changes will save money and improve safety.
Lexington man stopped with loaded handgun in carry-on at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport
LEXINGTON, Va. - A Lexington man was stopped with a loaded handgun at Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport on Monday, according to the Transportation Security Administration. Authorities say the .32-caliber handgun was loaded with six bullets and was found inside the man's carry-on by a TSA officer staffing the checkpoint X-ray monitorTSA officials say they notified airport police, who took the gun and cited the man on a weapons charge. This marks the second gun that TSA officers have found at the airport so far this year. To learn more about traveling with a gun, visit the TSA website. Copyright 2019 by WSLS 10 - All rights reserved.