The future of the Asheville Regional Airport

Inside the record-setting numbers and expansion plan.

Asheville Airport 2022 Planes

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Photo via Asheville Airport

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 tower already 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.

Interested a sneak peek of the future airport? See the project overview (complete with renderings). And consider giving into your wanderlust with one of these five enticing direct flights.

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