Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport eyes new rental car facility, adds rental car fee

Trevor Fair/WDBJ7
Trevor Fair/WDBJ7(WDBJ)
Published: Jul. 19, 2016 at 7:08 PM EDT
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Rental car customers will pay a bit more at the Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport beginning September 1.

The customer facility charge will help build a new rental car facility and upgrade the parking lot. The fee is about $3 per car, per day, totaling nearly $800,000 a year.

Right now customer service is in the lobby and maintenance is off site.

The airport wants to combine it all making it easier for travelers and the rental car companies.

"(Customers) would be able to pick the car up at the centralized facility, it would be under cover when they walk over there, they can pick it up and drop it off," Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport Marketing Director Brad Boettcher said. "Right now sometimes people get a little confused as to where to pick up the cars because the current pickup lots are blended in with the short term parking and that can be a little bit confusing."

The new maintenance facility will be what's known as a "quick turn facility" and allow space for washing, fueling, and normal operations. The customer service space will replace the counters in the terminal.

Exact plans will be finalized as it becomes clearer where some of the funding will come from. Boettcher said the project could either be one phase or two phases depending on how the funding shakes out.

The new facility will go where the current employee parking lot and old fire station is. Boettcher said if the project is completed in one phase the old fire station will be torn down and a new combined service compound with two separate buildings will be built.

If the project is done in two phases, the old fire station will serve as the rental car maintenance facility and new construction will house the customer service counters.