Runway improvements to expand service at Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ) -- Work is underway to extend the runway at the Virginia Tech Montgomery Executive Airport in Blacksburg.

On Tuesday, Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced more than $1 million in federal funding from the United States Department of Transportation that will go toward the project.

The upgrades are expected to increase corporate traffic through the airport by 40 percent.

"These are the people who will be building businesses within the Corporate Research Center, or within the New River Valley itself," said the airport's executive director Michael St. Jean. "And these people, of course, hire people, a lot of people, who then turn around and buy houses and cars and go to the grocery stores and such."

St. Jean said the improvements will allow the airport to handle more and larger corporate jets.