Manassas is moving forward with a plan to bring commercial passenger jet service to Manassas Regional Airport.
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“Change is often hard, but it is necessary. This city is moving forward. This city is growing. People are coming here by droves. Businesses want to move here. We have to be ready for it,” said Mayor Michelle Davis-Younger before the vote Monday night.
The plan calls for Avports, an airport manager and operator owned by Goldman Sachs, to invest between $75 million and $125 million to triple the size of the terminal. The company expects 3,650 flights the first year and 11,680 by the third year. Multiple carriers, the company said, are interested in operating out of the airport.
“For our city, it’s going to bring jobs, good jobs to our city. It’s going to be an opportunity for education for our schools,” said Councilwoman Theresa Coates Ellis, during the meeting.
“We have always said that our airport is a hidden gem for our community and the surrounding communities. Now it is time for our airport to shine,” she said.
While adding flights will mean additional noise and traffic, Vice Mayor Pamela J. Sebesky said, “I have never had constituents call me before a vote that could be controversial just saying, ‘Oh my gosh. This is so great. Is this true? Are we really going to have it?’ It was such a phenomenon, I almost couldn’t believe it when I was listening on the phone.”
The Federal Aviation Administration will need to sign off on the plan, which could occur in the fall.
Passenger service at Manassas Regional Airport could begin in 18 months, but Avports representatives have said two years is more feasible.
Feature image courtesy Avports
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