New United Express Flights Coming to Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport

Weyers Cave, Virginia, September 30, 2019 – The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) and SkyWest Airlines are pleased to announce two new United Express flights between Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), as well as schedule enhancements for current flights this December. These changes will continue to make it even easier and more convenient for Shenandoah Valley travelers to fly local.

The new flights to Washington Dulles will provide travelers greater flexibility thanks to a new mid-morning arrival from Washington, a new evening departure, and a new late-night flight back to the Shenandoah Valley. Flights to Chicago O’Hare International Airport will also be enhanced with a mid-morning departure from Shenandoah Valley. These improvements will help ensure maximum connection opportunities at both hubs and more convenient flight times for customers.

The new flight schedule* beginning December 4, 2019 is as follows:
*Flight schedule varies and is subject to change

“Response to our United Express jet service has been very favorable from the community and we are thrilled about this additional flight,” said Greg Campbell, Executive Director for the airport. “The community has demonstrated a commitment to supporting local air service and, as a result, we were able to work with SkyWest to enhance the schedule to better meet the needs of our travelers with a later departure and arrival into the Valley.”

“We’re pleased to bring these additional flights to the Shenandoah Valley,” said Greg Atkin, SkyWest Airlines managing director – Market Development. “Whether you’re traveling for work or with your family, this enhanced schedule provides access to destinations around the globe from two major United hubs; and we encourage every traveler to take advantage of it.”

Since the new United Express flights, operated by SkyWest, started in April 2018 there has been record growth at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, including a 67% increase in passenger traffic year to date compared to 2018.

Customers may book flights immediately at united.com or by calling United Airlines reservations at 800.846.8331. Remember, the best fares are always available at united.com.

 

 PUBLIC NOTICE
Of Intent to Submit an Application to the FAA to Impose and Use PFC Revenue

The Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission is proposing a new PFC application to impose and use a Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) at the rate of $4.50 for each enplaned passenger. The total amount to be collected is $355,010. The charge effective date for this application is June 1, 2020 and the expiration date is February 28, 2025.

The Airport Commission is requesting to exempt non-scheduled air carriers filing FAA Form 1800-31 as this class of carriers represents less than one percent of the total enplaned passengers at the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD).

This PFC application will be used to assist with funding a total of three projects. The list of projects is as follows:

  1. Purchase Aircraft Deice Truck
  2. Install Secure Area Partition-Design and Construction
  3. Acquire new Public Safety Vehicle

Any comments or questions regarding this application should be submitted in writing to:

Gregory Campbell, A.A.E.
Executive Director
Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport
P.O. Box 125
Weyers Cave, VA  24486

Comments must be received no later than October 17, 2019.

✈ Celebrating National Aviation Day ✈

Happy National Aviation Day – a day that we honor the history and continued advances in aviation! President Franklin Theodore Roosevelt first introduced National Aviation Day in 1939. The date of August 19th was chosen because it’s also the birthday of Orville Wright, who along with his brother Wilbur, made early advancements in powered flight.

In celebration of National Aviation Day, we’ve done a deep dive into the SHD historical archives to share with you the fascinating history of creating the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport. To begin the journey, we need to travel back to 1953 to a group of forward-thinking business and community leaders who were set on ushering in new economic growth for the region. At the time numerous small landing strips provided limited air access to the area. Members of the Airport Committee formed by the Staunton-Augusta Chamber of Commerce and led by Dr. A. Erskine Sproul, quickly recognized that an air transportation facility with significant capabilities was key in competing for larger economic development investments.

Knowing the far-reaching impact an airport could have, leaders from Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, Staunton, and Augusta County joined forces to form the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission in 1955 with Waynesboro joining a few years later. Together they identified Weyers Cave as the most mutually beneficial location for an airport with close access to a major highway and within easy reach of each locality. By March 14, 1957, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport Commission broke ground on the site of the $600,000 Shenandoah Valley Joint Airport featuring a 100 by 4,000-foot paved airstrip. (Since that time our runway has been expanded to 150 by 6,002 feet.)

In just three short years, the Shenandoah Valley Airport was dedicated to the community on January 31, 1960 to much fanfare including a planned appearance of radio/television broadcaster and aviation enthusiast, Arthur Godfrey. Local newspapers reported the “largest congregation of automobiles ever assembled in Augusta County” – roughly 8,000 cars jammed on primary and secondary roads trying to get to Weyers Cave. An estimated 5,000 people actually made it to the celebration while Augusta County Sheriff’s Department and State Police had to turn many away who were stuck in the gridlock around the county.

Unfortunately, strong winds and ice disrupted plans for Mr. Godfrey to speak but he did make a quick stop at the airport right before the ceremony was to begin to congratulate leaders on “another milestone in the revolutionary industrial development of the Valley” and remarked on the “nice, beautiful facility”. Mr. Godfrey then hurriedly departed to get back to Leesburg Airport before the storm closed in.

One day later on February 1, 1960, the first scheduled commercial flight by Piedmont Airlines took off from the new airport on a Douglas DC-3, solidifying a new era of aviation for the Shenandoah Valley. The first air service included direct flights to Washington National Airport, now Reagan National Airport, and another flight that connected passengers to Roanoke, VA, Asheville, NC, and the Tri-Cities of Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City plus Knoxville in Tennessee.

Dr. A. Erskine Sproul continued to champion aviation advancement in the Shenandoah Valley. In August 1971 he was appointed to the Airport Commission as the City of Staunton representative and later became the Commission Chairman. In honor of his invaluable service, the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD) Airline Terminal was dedicated to Dr. A. Erskine Sproul on September 28, 1991.

Continuing the early vision of the founders of the airport, SHD remains dedicated to serving the community and providing a catalyst for economic development efforts in the region. It’s with a strong appreciation of our rich history and commitment to the future of aviation in the Shenandoah Valley that we celebrate National Aviation Day with all of you!

✈ Soar Into an Exciting New Career ✈

It is said that if you find a job that you love, you’ll never work another day in your life. If you dream of having your office in the sky instead of the corner cubical or on the road, Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) Commercial Pilot Certificate program and Blue Ridge Aviation could be your solution!

For career starters or career changers with dreams of flying high, the Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) Commercial Pilot Certificate program in partnership with Blue Ridge Aviation, provides local training towards exciting careers in aviation.

Blue Ridge Aviation offers ground school & flight training for multiple ratings required for aviation careers or hobby pilots. Training topics include advanced theory of flight covering navigation, air space, weather, flight planning, radio communication, aircraft systems and performance, and federal aviation regulations. Students will earn a minimum of 190 flight hours in the commercial pilot program. Blue Ridge Aviation offers flight instructor ratings that allow completed students to build flight hours while being paid to flight instruct right here in Weyers Cave. (Airline pilots need 1,500 hours of flight time prior to hiring.)

Besides fulfilling dreams of working in the sky, a career as a commercial pilot can be a sound financial decision once training is completed. Commercial Pilots earn a median income of $82,240 according to the most recent data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The current nationwide pilot shortage is expected to get even worse in coming years due to the high number of pilots reaching retirement age. This is a growing concern in the aviation industry creating more demand than ever for new pilots to enter the field. Now is a great time to get started on a career in aviation!

If the friendly skies are calling to you, contact Alex Kelley or Sarah Grefe at Blue Ridge Aviation 540-246-9407 (blueridgeaviaiton@gmail.com) or Suzie Dull, Business and Development Manager/Workforce and Continuing Education at BRCC 540-453-2337 (dulls@brcc.edu).

Inspiring a ❤️ for Flying in the Next Generation

Two-hundred women and girls from across Virginia gathered at SHD this past Saturday for the 5th Annual Women Can Fly event. Women Can Fly is a state-wide initiative in partnership with the Virginia Department of Aviation that offers women and girls of all ages a chance to experience and explore career paths and recreational opportunities in the aviation industry.

Did you know currently only 7% of pilots are women? Pilot shortages combined with under-representation of women in aviation makes Women Can Fly an important catalyst for inspiring future female pilots. SHD is one of only five Virginia airports hosting a Women Can Fly event this summer.

The highlight of the day was a chance to take to the friendly skies with a volunteer private pilot. Excitement was in the air as participants completed pre-flight training to learn about the physics of flight and important safety information. For many attendees, Women Can Fly provided their first opportunity to experience flying, and the occasion was commemorated with a special First Flight certificate.

Representatives from the Virginia Department of Aviation, Dynamic Aviation, Blue Ridge Aviation, the Blue Ridge Community College Aviation Maintenance Technology Program, AirCare5 Medevac, Shenandoah Valley Chapter of The Ninety-Nines, and the United States Air Force were also on-hand with information and aviation-related resources.

Check out what participants of Saturday’s event had to say about their Women Can Fly experience!

“I grew up around aviation with my dad being a pilot and my mom a flight attendant, but I honestly never thought it was a possible career path for me. I even attended an aviation camp with my brothers as a kid, but I was the only girl there. I didn’t start flight training until after I had already gotten a bachelor’s degree in another field, but now I am just a few months away from being a Certificated Flight Instructor (CFI). I am always excited to share my love of flight with other females and Women Can Fly is a great way to do that!” – Rachel Riddler, Volunteer Pilot

 


My mom and I drove here from Haymarket to volunteer our time supporting females in aviation. I have been helping attendees get where they need to go for the pre-flight briefing today and then directing them to the flight sign up table. I wanted to get involved because I am a cadet in the Civil Air Patrol, and being in the air is the coolest feeling you will ever have!” – Carmen Duckenfield, age 16, Volunteer   

“The slogan “Women Can Fly” drew me into this event because, yes we can! I love the awareness of aviation opportunities for women this event shares. Today was my first small plane ride, and it was amazing!”– Stephanie Dean, Attendee


“This was a great opportunity for Calli to take her first flight ever. I’m really excited we could do this event together.”
– Chandra Shifflett, Attendee

My favorite part was seeing how small everything is from the air! It was really fun to get to learn about planes and then go take a real flight.” Calli Davis, age 10, Attendee

“I loved the flight. It’s such a different feeling taking off, especially because I’m scared of heights. But for some reason, I felt really safe in the airplane. Women Can Fly has a good message that females can be pilots, and it’s really cool to think about that.”
– Devon Wichael, age 13, Attendee

For media coverage and photos from the 2019 Women Can Fly event at SHD, visit our Facebook page by clicking here.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Women Can Fly event and especially all the volunteer pilots who donate their time and knowledge to expose females to the joy of flight!

Career Opportunities are Knocking

What do you think of when it comes to flying? For most of us, it’s probably our most recent experience on a business trip or the next bucket list destination we’re dreaming about. But for any of our air travel to be possible, we must rely on the unsung heroes of aviation who ensure that every aircraft and all of its systems are working safely and effectively. Much like your local auto mechanic, aviation mechanics are responsible for all routine maintenance and repairs on airplanes and helicopters.

Through the Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program based at Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport, students in the Shenandoah Valley have a unique opportunity to train locally for lucrative, in-demand jobs in the aviation maintenance field.

If you were to take a behind-the-scenes tour of SHD, you’d encounter students of all ages and backgrounds enrolled in the BRCC AMT program pursuing a career that will lead them to work in private or commercial aviation, agriculture, manufacturing, the space industry, and more!

BRCC has also worked with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)  to offer several of their aviation programs online. In this case, approximately half of courses will be completed virtually and the hands-on (laboratory) training will be at the SHD location.

Graduates of either the on-site or virtual Aviation Maintenance Technology (AMT) program are also eligible to take the FAA exams for a Mechanic’s Certificate with Airframe and Powerplant ratings. Historically, BRCC AMT graduates have a 100% pass rate on these certification exams.

Don’t just take our word for it, check out what others have to say about the career opportunities awaiting aviation maintenance technicians! (Videos courtesy of the WHSV InDemand series)

If the AMT program sounds like a great fit for you or your recent grad, BRCC is still accepting fall enrollments! For enrollment or program questions, contact Blue Ridge Community College at (540) 453-0264 or info@brcc.edu.

Next time we will be highlighting another great BRCC aviation program based at SHD… get those aviator glasses ready!

We Did It! And To Celebrate, You Could Win a $500 Travel Voucher!

Passengers boarding a plane.It’s hard to believe that this month marks one year since United (Operated by SkyWest Airlines) began offering service at SHD! As many of you have now experienced for yourselves, flying out of the Valley has never been more attractive.

We are in the mood to celebrate our success over the past year and offering free travel seems like an excellent way to do it. Stay tuned for information below on how you can enter to win $500 towards your next trip from SHD!

It’s difficult to comprehend how much of an impact that the new service has had over the course of the year but one thing is for sure – SkyWest has delivered on everything they promised to bring to our community, plus some. Their reliability has been impeccable. Passenger experiences have been A+.

And my very favorite part is that YOU have been able to travel to where you need to go within the United network easily and stress-free.

Since the partnership with SkyWest began, passenger traffic has increased 260% overall! With just nine months of the new service in 2018 we surpassed passenger traffic records held for nearly two decades and I’m happy to report 2019 is shaping up to be even better!

You can read more about the transformation we have experienced in the two articles below recently published by the Daily News Record.

Airport Sees Soaring Passenger Numbers (Published 4/6/19)

SVRA Finds Success with SkyWest (Published 4/9/19)

Pilot in front of plane.We’re incredibly excited about our partnership with SkyWest Airlines and want to thank you all for your support. The sky is truly the limit on what we can accomplish together, however, there is still work to be done. We as a community must continue to demonstrate that this region prefers local air service for the market to truly realize it’s full potential.

To that end, we are asking for your help. We want to hear from you regarding the service over the past year – what you like about it, how often you have flown with us and, just as importantly, why you may not have been able to take advantage of it.

This information is also very useful when we periodically meet with airlines so your feedback could have a direct effect on the future of air travel at SHD. And you can win a $500 travel voucher from your favorite airport… Did I mention that part?

Click here to take the survey!

THANK YOU for making the past 12 months a great first year for United service at SHD!

New ID Requirements for Flying

Some upcoming travel changes are quickly approaching that will affect everyone that flies! Beginning on October 1st, 2020, federal regulations will require a new form of identification for boarding domestic flights called a REAL ID. Although there is plenty of time ahead before that change is made, we want to ensure that travelers who rely on us to get them where they’re going remain as informed as possible.

That’s why we’re having representatives from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles on hand to answer any and all questions about REAL ID.

 REAL ID INFORMATION SESSION

DATE: Thursday, April 4th
TIME:   12pm-5pm *Come by anytime during these hours
WHERE: SHD Airline Terminal

Prior to the event, we also wanted to field some frequently asked questions about what this regulatory change is going to mean for travelers in Virginia.

What is REAL ID?

REAL ID is a new federally standardized method of issuing identification. In the state of Virginia, newly issued driver’s licenses and identifications from the DMV offer you the option of being REAL ID compliant.

After October 1, 2020, all Americans will be required to show REAL ID compliant credentials before boarding a domestic flight or entering certain federal buildings. An unexpired US Passport will also allow residents to board a domestic flight.

How do I know if my current Virginia’s Driver’s Licenses and ID cards are REAL Compliant?

You can check to see if your current ID is compliant by looking for a small black star in the upper right-hand corner. If the star is there, you’re in the air.

How do I apply for a REAL ID compliant license or ID card?

Receiving your REAL ID compliant identification is similar to the current driver’s license/ID Card application process. Simply go to your local DMV to apply in person and be sure to present physical documentation of:

  • Identity (e.g. an unexpired US passport of US birth certificate)
  • Legal Presence (e.g. an unexpired US passport of US birth certificate)
  • Social Security Number (must include the full number; e.g. Social Security card or a W-2 form)
  • Residency (two proofs are required and each must include your current residential street address; e.g. current driver’s license, voter registration card, utility bills, mortgage statements or rental lease agreement)
  • Proof of any name changes (e.g. marriage certificates)

This seems like a lot. Where can I find more information?

If you are unable to make our REAL ID event on April 4th from 12pm-5pm in the SHD Airline Terminal, we encourage you to check out dmvNOW.com/REALID for more information, including the entire list of documents that will be accepted in order to issue a REAL ID. DMV also has a really great interactive Document Guide to assist you in choosing exactly what documents you will personally bring to apply.

It is important to us that you’re able to travel as smoothly as possible through our airport. We want to do everything we can to arm you with information about this change in federal policy and hope that you will accept our invitation to find out more in person during our REAL ID information session on April 4th!

2nd Annual Run the Runway 5K + Kids Fun Run – Register NOW!

Greetings Valley Traveler!

Lace up your sneakers and gather your friends and family – registration opened TODAY for the 2nd Annual Run the Runway 5K + Kids Fun Run at SHD on April 13th!

The Run the Runway 5K is a family-friendly event beginning with a 1K Fun Run for children ages 3-12 at 8:30 am and a 5K on the taxiway and runway beginning at 9:00 AM. This professionally chip-timed event will offer a unique race opportunity on a real airport runway making it a perfect fit for runners, walkers and families at all fitness levels. The course is flat and completely paved making it stroller and wheelchair friendly.*

All proceeds from the Run the Runway 5K + Kids Fun Run will benefit the Explore More Museum’s aviation exhibit where children can learn about the many aspects of aviation including hands-on experience as a pilot, aircraft mechanic, air traffic controller, and passenger.

Through a partnership with Dynamic Aviation, the Explore More Museum has already installed a King Air fuselage as the anchor piece of this exhibit. Our Run the Runway 5K raised over $10K in 2018 and assisted in the installation of an air traffic control tower (shell only) and a partial airline terminal component of the exhibit.

Funds raised from the 2019 event will enable further development of this space including internal components of the air traffic control tower, a mock TSA screening area in the airline terminal and a hands-on aircraft maintenance component. We feel strongly this exhibit has the power to inspire the children of today to be our aviation workforce of tomorrow!

For more information about the Explore More Museum, visit www.iexploremore.com or sign up to participate in the Run the Runway 5K + Kids Fun Run here. Take advantage of early bird pricing until March 15th!

Can’t participate in the event but would like to be involved? We are looking for event sponsors too! Click here to learn more.

Love is in the air at SHD!

Love is in the air for Valentine’s Day, and we’re counting the ways we L-O-V-E all of our SHD travelers! From rallying behind the new United service powered by SkyWest to helping us break a 20-year old record for monthly passenger traffic, we are honored to be your airport of choice. In fact, check out these “love letters” we’ve received from local travelers just in time for Valentine’s Day!

 

Dear SHD,

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and all of your staff from lovely and warm Charleston, SC! After a successful week of teaching at the Sheriff”s office, I am so looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!  I must say, flying for business is so much less stressful now that United and SkyWest have come to town. With connections to both Dulles and O’Hare, I can get to my classes that are scattered all over the US with fewer layovers and less wasted time.  Just getting to the airport is easy, no drives over foggy mountains or (gasp!) to northern Virginia! Plus, nice people to talk to at the airport and no long lines to check in. And when I get back after my trip, I just grab my bag, find my keys, and go.  No stops to pay tolls or parking fees which just keep going up! It’s like buying a plane ticket for my car! Life is good when you travel SHD!  See you tomorrow!

Sincerely,
Charlotte Robinson, DVM

 

Dear SHD,

Traveling every week for ESPN, I have a “love” affair with SHD!  I have FREE parking, friendly employees, and TSA and staff to greet me each week.  Flying through Washington Dulles or Chicago O’Hare, I can get anywhere in the country without driving two hours.  Recently, I was able to cash in my United miles for a ski trip to Bozeman, Montana. SHD is convenient with reasonable airfare that doesn’t break my “heart” or wallet! So, if you want to make an impression on your sweetheart, book a getaway from SHD today!

Sincerely,
David Gallatin
EVS/ Replay Operator
ESPN

Dear SHD,

As the Executive Director of the Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship here at James Madison University I have a monumental challenge. I want to show that the Shenandoah Valley can produce as good or better student startup companies when compared with Silicon Valley. SHD is an important partner in answering this challenge!

Early this fall, we held an event for Women Entrepreneurship Week. We had two Founder CEOs, a Managing Partner, and a Founder of a Venture Capital company. These women executives flew from CT, Chicago, and NYC. They were all able to fly in the day of the talk and fly out early the next day.  Such seamless and timely transportation is paramount for such high-quality executive speakers.

Often, I need to fly for a conference and give a speech on our work here at JMU. This fall I needed do so for a conference that was in Chicago. The direct flight was the best-ever. In my personal life, my children reside in Connecticut, and my fiancé is an entrepreneur owning her own high-end interior designer business operating out of New York City. Having SHD ten minutes away from our Harrisonburg home is great, as we no longer have to deal with Dulles or Reagan National and the corresponding logistical nightmare that is NOVA traffic and parking!!!!

My fiancé Bridget has made fast friends with many of the TSA agents, all of whom who are so nice, professional, and welcoming.  During the government shutdown there were tales of many airports operating less than efficiently during that time, but Bridget and I flew to Florida for some needed R&R and sunshine. Everyone at SHD was a true delight.  To receive prompt service, a smile, and a warm greeting at such a time shows how incredible everyone at SHD really is. We look forward to utilizing SHD for years to come.

Sincerely,
Patrick McQuown
Executive Director
Gilliam Center for Entrepreneurship at James Madison University