Manassas Regional Airport officials hope more people will take advantage of a small regional airport that mostly caters to corporate jets and those taking flying lessons.
A federal grant might send more aviators and passengers the airport’s way.
The airport plans to begin construction Sunday to extend its longest runway by 500 feet, to 6,200 feet, according to a news release.
The extension means planes will have more room to stop in bad weather and can take more fuel, making coast-to-coast flights possible.
The Manassas airport, the largest regional airport in Virginia, received a $3.9 million Federal Aviation Administration grant, as well as a $353,000 Virginia Department of Aviation grant for the construction project, which is expected to be completed by Nov. 30.
“This expansion will allow aircraft owners and pilots the opportunity to fly nonstop to the West Coast without refueling halfway,” Juan Rivera, the airport’s director, said in a news release.
RS&H Engineers of Alexandria will provide construction management services. Sargent Corp. of Maine is building the runway.
About 98,000 planes have used the airport annually in recent years, down from about 136,000 five years ago, Rivera has said. If more people knew about the services the airport offers, he said, more would choose to use the Manassas airport.