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  • WTKR News 3

    ORF readies groundbreaking for first parts of $1B capital project

    By Anthony Sabella,


    Monday, Norfolk International Airport will break ground on a new U.S. Customs facility and expansion to Concourse A, marking the first big step in a multi-year, $1 billion capital project .

    The U.S. Customs inspection facility will be located next to the airport's north short-term parking lot and the Concourse A expansion will include three new gates.

    “Those three gates allow us more ability to accommodate the future flights that will happen. Both those projects are anticipated to take about 15 to 18 months to construct," Mark Perryman, Norfolk International Airport's Executive Director, told News 3 last month.

    Perryman says federal funding played a big role in making the $60 million project possible, adding that the new gates will help make room for larger airplanes servicing the airport, which is speeding toward another record-breaking year for passengers .

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    “We’re working with ODU now in fact to determine what our economic impact is now. A study was done several years ago, pre-pandemic, that said we contribute $2.2 billion to the regional economy. We anticipate that number to double or triple," said Perryman.

    He adds that part of the vision for the airport's future is the addition of direct international commercial flights.

    Earlier this month, Frontier Airlines began nonstop service between Norfolk and San Juan, Puerto Rico . Perryman tells News 3 that the U.S. Territory is the airport's first nonstop service to the Caribbean.

    He believes the new Customs facility could lead airlines to begin offering routes outside American borders.

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    “If they can’t process international passengers, they will not bring an international flight here, so this is one of those facilities that we really need to have in advance of those flights beginning," Perryman told News 3. “We anticipate seeing Cancun (Mexico), Montego Bay (Jamaica), those opening up here really soon.”

    He also says there are efforts to connect with European carriers.

    “A couple of our folks are talking with British [Airways], Aer Lingus, a couple other airlines about what’s the probability? What’s the possibility?," he said.

    Perryman says visible work on the return of the moving walkways across the airport's sky bridge should begin in September, with construction finishing by the first part of 2025.

    Other big planned additions to the airport include the construction of an on-site hotel, a major add-on to the main terminal building, and the construction of a rental car facility and parking deck. Funding for those parts will come from a mix of developers, airport cash reserves, and financing, Perryman tells News 3.

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