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  • AVL expansion makes traveling from Asheville easier and less expensive

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023   /   by Amy Brown

    AVL expansion makes traveling from Asheville easier and less expensive

    The Asheville Regional Airport is soaring to new heights. 

    Starting this August, the facility will break ground on a new terminal that will double the size of the current airport and increase the number of gates from seven to 12. A new air traffic control toweralready broke ground in January — an event the airport describes as a “once-in-decades historic event.”

    Airport terminal before and after

    The current airport compared with a rendering of future plans.

    Renderings via Gresham Smith

    At this week’s Asheville City Council meeting, airport president Lew Bleiweis shared the latest on WNC’s swiftly growing transportation hub. Here are the biggest takeaways:

    • Passenger numbers in 2022 were the highest ever, with more than 1.8 million folks using our airport. That’s a 29% increase from 2021.
    • The Asheville airport is now the third busiest airport in the state, bringing in $9.4 million worth of net revenue this past year.
    • In 2023, the airport is on track to break last year’s record-setting passenger count by a significant margin, with monthly counts already 37% higher than last year.
    • Wondering how all those numbers impact us? A recent study from NCDOT reports that it adds up to $2.26 billion in annual economic impact and supports 10,655 jobs.

    asheville airport renderings

    The future airport entryway.

    Renderings via Gresham Smith

    More on that expansion plan...

    The terminal expansion project is expected to wrap up by the end of 2026 and the new air tower should be ready for action in 2025. In addition to new gates, the expansion will also provide more room for ticketing, baggage claim, concessions, and more TSA lanes.

    Got a case of wanderlust? You’re in luck: Our very own Asheville Regional Airport offers direct flights to 25 cities across the country. Indulge in our curated flights of fancy and check out the five spots we’re itching to visit.

    Psst — our biggest travel tip? Sign up for a free Going membership. You’ll get emailed incredible deals flying out of the Asheville Regional Airport, like a $260 flight to Paris. Try the free membership.

    Austin, TX | Flight time: ~ 4 hours 

    Home to the South by Southwest + Austin City Limits festivals, Austin (aka the Live Music Capital of the World) appeals to music lovers across genres. With a dizzying array of eateries, bars, breweries, and food trucks (more than 1,000), it’s also a foodie’s paradise. Check out our sister market, ATXtoday, for everything you need to know.

    Boston, MA | Flight time: ~ 2 hours 

    In addition to that decadent cream pie of the same name, this historic city is also home to stunning architecturemuseums galorepublic gardens + parks (the country’s oldest), and venues like thelegendary Fenway Park. Stay abreast of everything in Beantown with our sister market, BOStoday

    Chicago, IL | Flight time: ~ 1.5 hours 

    Home to the White Sox, Cubs, Blackhawks, Bulls, Bears, Chicago Sky, and Chicago Fire, sports fanswill be in hog heaven in The Windy City. You’ll also find stunning skyscrapersLake Michiganmuseums, and dive bars + food trucks alongside multiple Michelin starred-restaurants.

    Denver, CO | Flight time: ~ 3.5 hours

    The Mile High City boasts the breathtaking Rocky Mountains, as well as opportunities for outdoor adventures like skiing, rafting, and kayaking. There’s also the 80-acre Denver Zoowildlife refuges, deliciously unique eats like Rocky Mountain oysters, and the iconic Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre

    Miami, FL | Flight time: ~ 2 hours 

    In addition to its world famous white sand beaches + art deco architecture, The Magic City offers award-winning restaurantsnightlife, and cultural attractions including art galleries, and museums that showcase its blend of Hispanic, Jewish American, Caribbean, and Haitian heritages.

    Get out there and make the most of this big, wide world!