Asheville Regional Airport is based near the town of Fletcher, just 9 miles south Asheville, North Carolina, United States. Its three-letter IATA code is AVL. The airport is categorized as Class C and is held by the Greater Asheville Regional Airport Authority. National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems named it a small hub primary commercial service facility. In 2019 Asheville Regional Airport served a record quantity of passengers: 1,616,762, a 43% increase over the previous year. The airport stretches on 900 acres and has one 7,000 ft long and 100 ft wide asphalt runway.
At the beginning of 2018, the airport had 74 thousand aircraft operations, averaging to 203 per day. In the summer of 2018, there were 98 single-engine, six jet, nine multi-engine, and two helicopters.
Asheville Regional Airport is served by these jet planes regularly: Airbus A320, Airbus A319, Boeing 717-200, Canadair Regional Jet.
AVL airport was visited by a Concorde supersonic transport in 1987 during a promotional tour and was stuck overnight because of too much snow.
President Barack Obama, together with First Lady Michelle Obama, arrived in Asheville aboard "Air Force Two" Boeing C-32 plane for a weekend getaway in April 2010. In October next year, the president visited Asheville in Boeing VC-25 to start his Virginia and North Carolina bus tour pushing his jobs bill. He gave the first speech at the airport and mentioned possible improvements at the airport as part of the jobs bill. President Obama again visited Asheville on the same aircraft in February 2013, for a short speech at a manufacturing facility.
On June 7, 1961, The terminal building was officially opened, and an expansion and renovation project costing $20 million began in 1987. This project was finished in 1992, which saw an extension of the baggage claim area, ticket lobby, and administration offices. The boarding area was constructed on a second-level, as well as a new atrium. The boarding areas were then removed in favor of new one on ground-level, which were renovated and expanded in 2003 by Wilkie Construction Company, Inc. McCreary/Snow Architects, PA designed this area.
An additional baggage carousel, offices, guest services center, car rental desks, and security were improved in 2009, totaling $17.8 million in cost. A new parking deck was opened in front of the airport terminal in 2017, which has 1300 parking spaces.
The airport's 50 years old runway was getting close to the end of its serviceable life and needed reconstruction to maintain its use into the future. The runway did not satisfy the most current FAA requirements either, which were set in place long after it was constructed. A temporary runway 35 was opened in 2015 near the existing one. It is still operational, and Precision Approach Path Indicators are active on both ends.
Past Airline Service
Delta Air Lines, Capital Airlines, and Piedmont Airlines served Asheville Regional Airport with Douglas DC-3s in 1948. Capital conducted direct flights to Knoxville and Charlotte. Delta had nonstop flights to Knoxville and Greenville, while Piedmont flew to Charlotte and Tri-Cities.
In 1961 Capital Airlines opened its direct flights to Winston/Salem, Tri-Cities, and Atlanta. Capital Airlines was purchased by United Airlines, which had direct flights to Greensboro, Washington D.C, Atlanta, and Raleigh/Durham.
In 1967, Piedmont Airlines began using Boeing 727-100s, and in 1969, United flew direct flights to Raleigh/Durham and Atlanta Boeing 737-200s.
In April 1975, Asheville Airport was served by Official Airline Guide Piedmont, Delta, and United. Delta operated one daily flight from Knoxville with DC-9-30, beginning at Chicago O'Hare via Louisville. Piedmont flew Fairchild Hiller FH-227s, Boeing 737-200s, and NAMC YS-11 planes directly from Charlotte, Greenville/Spartanburg, Atlanta, Danville, Charleston, Fayetteville, Lynchburg, Knoxville, Tri-Cities, Nashville, Winston/Salem, and Roanoke, and 737s from Washington D.C., Richmond, Memphis. United Airlines was conducting nonstop Boeing 737-200 flights from Charleston, Raleigh/Durham, and Atlanta.
In February 1985, Piedmont was the only jet airline company at Asheville Airport with Fokker F28 and Boeing 727-200 Fellowship nonstop flights from Charlotte, Baltimore, Roanoke, and Atlanta, and single stop 727 flights from Miami, New York LaGuardia and Denver. The Official Airline Guide (OAG) lists direct Delta Connection DHC-7 Dash 7s and Short 360s from Atlanta with Wheeler Airlines and Sunbird Airlines Beechcraft 99 planes from Raleigh/Durham and Charlotte.
The same OAG listed these airlines at Asheville Airport in April 1995: Delta, Delta Connection, American Eagle, USAir Express, and USAir. Delta and ASA had an entirety of eight nonstop flights a day from Delta and Atlanta on MD-80s, and Delta Connection on Embraer EMB-120 and ATR 72s. Also, Delta Connection had three EMB-120 flights from Cincinnati. USAir and USAir Express conducted a total of nine nonstop flights a day from Charlotte, USAir Express with Short 360s and USAir with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30s and Boeing 737-300s.