General Principles for Transportation



Other Transportation Types

Air Travel


The purpose of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Master Plan August 18, 2004 is to provide the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Authority with useful, understandable information and guidance to develop and maintain a safe and efficient airport. It also provides the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Virginia Department of Aviation with information concerning the planned development at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport. The Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive planning guide that ensures the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport remains a safe, efficient and environmentally sensitive air transportation facility, while serving the growing needs of air travelers throughout the region.

The Airport has maintained a Master Plan for facility development since 1972. Prior updates include 1982 and 1994.   FAA requires an airport to maintain a master plan in order to be eligible to receive grant-in-aid funding through its airport improvement program.  There are no set guidelines from FAA on how often an airport master plan should be updated.  Each master plan includes forecasts of aviation activity that are applicable for 5, 10 & 20 year periods.  Historically, the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport has conducted an update every 10-12 years.

Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO) is the only commercial service airport in the region (the Louisa County Industrial Airpark is a general aviation airport).  The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is located in northern Albemarle County west of Route 29 at Routes 649 and 606, approximately eight miles north of Charlottesville. It is both a general aviation and a non-hub, commercial service airport offering 60 daily non-stop flights to and from Charlotte, Philadelphia, New York/LaGuardia, Washington/Dulles, Cincinnati, and Atlanta. The airport is served by DeltaConnection, United Express, and US Airways Express. Service was initiated at the Airport by Piedmont Airlines in 1955. Since then, the facility has grown to include a 60,000 square foot terminal facility with modern customer amenities offering on-site rental cars, ground transportation, and food service. General aviation facilities include an executive terminal offering a full-service fixed base operation, flight schools, and aircraft charter firms. Significant increases in the number of passengers departing from the airport on commercial flights have occurred. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport continues to grow, from 65,620 passengers departing on commercial flights in 1980 to 132,432 in 1990, and serving 163,416 passengers in 2003.


The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport is located eight miles north of the City, near the Community of Hollymead. The airport is operated by a regional Airport Authority, created in 1982, which consists of City and County government representatives and citizens. The authority has regulatory and fiscal control of the operations of the airport facilities, within the guidelines of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport Master Plan and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations.


Commercial flights and commuting services are available daily from the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport to approximately twenty-five locations including major international airports at Atlanta, New York, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Washington D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Commercial air services are presently provided by five carriers. Aviation services are also available from private aircraft.


The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport has experienced continued growth in flight services during recent years. In 1990 enplanements, (persons leaving the airport aboard a commercial flight), numbered 132,432, compared with 65,620 enplanements in 1980. The airport operates one grooved asphalt runway (6000 feet by 1150 feet), equipped with high-intensity lights. Navigational aids include a precision landing system, a rotating beacon, and an FAA control tower, which is in continuous operation. The Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport has been approved for installation of airport surveillance radar (ASR). The ASR will provide radar monitoring of low altitude flights in and around the Central Virginia flight sector. The receiving and transmitting facility for ASR would likely be located atop the Blue Ridge Mountains, near the Greene County line. This safety improvement may influence expansion of existing commercial services at the airport, and may trigger increased development in the vicinity.


The County is aware of the need to address infrastructure needs which would improve airport operations, such as public utility and road improvements. Any future land acquisition and development by the Authority will also need to be coordinated with the County to insure consistency with the Comprehensive Plan and all applicable ordinances, and to minimize negative impacts of expansions.





           The Charlottesville-Albemarle Master Plan- August 18, 2004 is recognized as a guide for the development Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport.  Continue to recognize the Airport Authority as responsible for the management, planning and expansion of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport facilities. The County and the Airport Authority should coordinate long-term land use and development plans for the airport area.


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