Need to catch a flight to New York, Chicago, or Atlanta? How about Charlotte, Philadelphia, or Washington, D.C.? Thanks to service from the three legacy carriers—American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines—these major hubs provide access to more than a thousand destinations around the world, and all are available as direct flights right from the tarmac at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport. It is remarkable service for a small airport, especially one that receives no tax dollars, points out Jason Burch, director of marketing, air service development, and communications.
“It’s upon us to be successful,” Jason says of the team of thirty-five employees who run the airport, all of whom live and work in the Charlottesville community. “We’re busy enough to encourage growth,” he explains, “yet we’re small enough that our staff can make sure that we’re engaged with every passenger that flies through here.”
Unlike other airports of similar size that have struggled over the past fifteen years, CHO has seen consistent growth, which Executive Director Melinda Crawford credits to Charlottesville’s draw as a destination for both work and pleasure, a vital cornerstone of which is the University of Virginia. Jason singles out the Morven Kitchen Garden, an initiative run by UVA students, as a perfect example what makes UVA—and Charlottesville—so special.
“The airport truly has a thumb on the pulse of the local community and the little things that are happening,” he says, “all of which, in totality, make for the success of our airport.”