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Parking at Roanoke–Blacksburg
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Whether you are looking for economy or convenience, long-stay or short-stay, Roanoke Airport offers parking for all types of travelers and trips. ROA provides over 1,800 spaces divided into both long-term and short-term lots and all within walking distance of the terminal building. Here’s a summary of what is on offer:
If you are planning a quick trip then visit the Short-Term Parking Lot, located just 300 feet from the airport entrance. This open-air lot offers the first 15 minutes free of charge and is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Adjacent to the Short-Term Parking Lot is the Long-Term Parking Lot offering rates for trips of a longer duration. As in the Short-Term Parking Lot, the first 15 minutes are complimentary and the lot is located less than a mile (one and a half kilometers) from the terminal building, so you can reach it on foot.
If you need to wait for a guest, head to Roanoke Airport’s Cell Phone Lot where you can park free of charge. Your guest can call you on their arrival and you can reach the terminal entrance in a matter of minutes to collect them. It is located at the back end of the parking lot and is clearly signposted and easy to find as you approach the airport.
A shuttle service previously existed at Roanoke Airport but has been discontinued. It now only runs during times of inclement weather from door five of the terminal building. For those needing assistance to park or reach the terminal you can call Standard Parking at +1 (540) 362-0630.
Roanoke Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA), also known as Woodrum Field, is a small, user friendly airport serving over half a million passengers each year. It sees approximately 40 scheduled flights from its two runways every day, reaching eight non-stop destinations, the most popular of which being Atlanta and Charlotte. Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines all offer national services from ROA. On a number of occasions the Airport Commission has considered making Roanoke an international airport but to date it remains Roanoke Regional Airport.
ROA Airport is located three miles (six kilometers) northwest of downtown Roanoke in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. Traveling to the center of Roanoke is simple and there are a number of options available. To make the ten minute journey you can take a taxi or limo service or rent a car, all of which are located on the first floor of the terminal near the baggage claim area.
If you are looking for a more economical option, the Smart Way Bus service leaves from outside the eastern end of the terminal. With a service operating from Monday to Saturday, the journey downtown takes just over half an hour. To have a look at the bus timetable and general information click here. If you plan on returning to Roanoke Airport on a Sunday, let the driver know on your inbound trip as you are entitled to take one of the two shuttle options provided by Roanoke Airport Transportation Services, leaving at 2:30pm and 6:30pm.
Roanoke Airport Transportation Services provide a daily shuttle service to and from the airport. To inquire about times and prices you must contact the company in advance, and can access their contact details by clicking here.
For those planning to travel further afield, you can do so from the Greyhound bus station in downtown Roanoke, located less than a ten minute drive from Roanoke Airport. You can also catch a Megabus from Interstate 81 Exit 118 Park-and-Ride Lot with connections provided by the Smart Way bus. The nearest Amtrak train station is at Lynchburg Kemper Street Station where you can travel to Boston, Washington, Chicago and New Orleans. The Smart Way Connector bus takes you the 55 mile (89 kilometer) trip from downtown or the stop at Hanging Rock Park and Ride, Exit 140. The Smart Way Connector runs in coordination with Northeast Regional trains’ arrival and departure times.
1929 saw the inauguration of Roanoke Airport when the City of Roanoke leased the 136 acres site where the airport still stands today. The 1930s and 1940s saw the arrival of American Airlines, the first passenger airline service and ROA receiving qualification as a National Defense Project, which made it eligible for further funding. A dedication was later paid to Clifton A. Woodrum, who ensured the airport was chosen for the project, as the airport became Roanoke Municipal Airport/Woodrum Field. The 1980s saw a further name change to Roanoke Regional Airport/Woodrum Field and huge investment, creating the current terminal building. In 2014 Roanoke received its third and final name change to Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport reflecting the close economic link between the Roanoke and the New River Valleys. With the airport now operating at 100% capacity at peak times there is talk of further expansion.
Roanoke is a small airport that covers all the pre-flight essentials and a little more. Among general amenities there is a restaurant and bar operating both landside and airside, on the second level, and two news and gift stores, one landside and one airside.
Should you require assistance for your visit to Roanoke Airport, call the customer service line in advance on +1 (540) 362-1999. If you find you need help once you are there, flag down an Airport Ambassador available prior to the screening checkpoint. They are easy to locate with their red vests and are trained to answer any question you may have.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the facilities available at ROA:
If you are catching an early flight from ROA it may be advisable to take advantage of a hotel, parking and transfer package. This ensures that you get a good night’s sleep before your flight, your car is safely parked while you are away and you don’t have to worry about driving to or from the airport.
For those who don’t want to spend too much of their vacation savings, there’s the Airport Plaza Hotel. At less than one and a half miles (two kilometers) from Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport you are also close to Valley View Mall and Splash Valley at Green Ridge Recreation Center. Make use of the outdoor pool, free WiFi and complimentary newspapers before hopping on the free airport shuttle feeling relaxed and ready for your journey ahead.
If you are happy to spend a little more, then try the Holiday Inn Roanoke Valley View just a five minute drive from the airport. With the 24 hour business center, gym and comfortable rooms, it’s an excellent hotel for both business and leisure travelers alike.
Another Holiday Inn option is the Express Roanoke-Civic Center four miles (six and a half kilometers) from ROA. Enjoy the free WiFi, breakfast buffet and outdoor pool to make you feel like your vacations have started before you have even arrived at the airport.
For history buffs there’s the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Salem close to key historic sites from the Revolutionary and Civil wars. At less than a ten minute complimentary shuttle ride to the airport and providing a free hot breakfast bar, you’ll be sure to arrive at the airport feeling ready for your journey.
Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport has launched a program designed to showcase local art. Take a trip to the second floor of the west side of the terminal to have a look at some of the region’s talent. If you fall in love with one of the items you can even buy it and take it home, though the art must remain in the terminal building until the end of the showcase.
For those looking to grab a bite to eat, head to McAlister’s Deli where you can enjoy sandwiches, soups and salads. Be sure to try their famous Sweet Tea, the Southern American favorite iced tea filtered and made every four hours. The restaurant is open airside and landside from 4:30am until the departure of the last flight of the day.
Roanoke offer business work stations, on the second floor balcony outside security, and technology bars at each airline gate. Whether you have urgent work to take care of, want to check your emails or need to charge an electrical device before you set off, you can do it at any of these locations.
Instead of rushing around looking for last minute gifts why not kick back, relax and make the most of the endless windows that let you take in the amazing views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Not many airports offer such a quiet, laid-back atmosphere, so take advantage of it and unwind.
Before entering the terminal building take time to have a look at the Aurora statue made by New York artist Albert Paley. The almost six and a half meter (21 feet) tall statue was installed in 1990 and the bright colors and natural appearance are meant to provide a contrast to the airport building.
If you have left your present shopping until the last minute then pay a visit to one of the Hudson News and Gift stores. Open from 4:30am until the last flight departs and located on the second floor both pre and post security you can find that necessary gift or souvenir.
If you want to see some authentic Virginian art then this is the place to go. Located less than a ten minute drive from ROA in downtown Roanoke, the Taubman Museum of Art is dedicated to preserving the art of the region. Even the building itself, built by architect Randall Stout, is a work of art, with the 23 meter (77 feet) glass atrium designed to represent the famous Roanoke Star and the roof the Blue Ridge Mountains. Make sure you pay a visit to the Art Venture area where you can have a go at drawing, painting, building and creating your own sculptures. It is open from Wednesday to Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and you can see if one of the special events they run is happening at the time of your visit by clicking here.
Nothing says Roanoke like the Mill Mountain Star just a 15 minute drive from ROA Airport. The star lives in the Mill Mountain Park, at the base of Mill Mountain, just over eight miles (13.3 kilometers) from Roanoke Airport. The 600 acre park is open to the public and offers two stunning overlooks of the area. The grounds are home to the Discovery Center, Mill Mountain Wildflower Garden, the Mill Mountain Zoo and also offer picnic areas, a playground and ten miles of fun walking trails to explore. The Roanoke Star itself, measuring 90 feet and built in the 1950s as a Christmas decoration, is now a permanent fixture and has become the symbol of Roanoke.
For those interested in the 20th century American photographer O. Winston Link, this is the museum to visit. Known for his railroad photography, the museum is aptly housed in the historic Norfolk & Western railway station. Featuring hundreds of prints, photographs, stories of the subjects and the artist’s background, it provides hours of fascinating viewing and is definitely worth traveling the less than five miles (eight kilometers) from ROA.
A fabulous place to take the kids, the oldest science museum in Virginia prides itself on being a hands-on educational center. Among the child friendly exhibitions, it boasts a Butterfly Garden and Bug Zoo, a planetarium and 3D visualization applications. Open every day until 5pm you can see if any special courses or events are due to take place during your trip by clicking here.
The zoo, which sits in the 568 acre Mill Mountain Park, is home to over 85 animals from more than 35 species and is only eight miles (13 kilometers) from Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport. Take a look at the endangered snow leopard and red panda and hop on the Zoo Choo, a gas-powered Model G-16 little train engine, to travel around the various exhibits. The zoo is open seven days a week from 10:00am until 5:00pm, as is the train service, weather permitting.
This community-based organization in downtown Roanoke, just eight minutes from ROA Airport, is a center for arts and culture. The campus offers an aquarium, theater company and none less than five museums including an African American culture museum, a West Virginia history museum, the Roanoke Pinball Museum, and the Science Museum of Western Virginia. To have a look at opening hours and admissions click here.
Set just outside downtown Roanoke, and a 20 minute drive from Roanoke Airport, is the 250 acre nature park and preserve of the Red Mountain. If you fancy stretching your legs, set off on the four mile round trip to the Buzzard Rock summit for one of the best views of Roanoke or, if you aren’t feeling so ambitious, go for a walk on one of the smaller trails. Click here for the trail map and choose your route.
Charting the development of transportation technology through the years, the Virginia Museum of Transportation makes for a fascinating visit. Galleries include the automobile, the railroad and the must see aviation gallery, containing a genuine antique hot air balloon, hand glider and a number of airplanes.
All flights depart from the single passenger terminal at Roanoke Airport, which opened in October 1989 at a cost of $25 million. The Y-shaped terminal is divided into two levels, with most of the shopping and dining facilities located on the second floor.
Here are the airlines that fly from ROA Airport:
You can navigate to Roanoke via the ZIP code VA 24012 and, due to its importance as a crossroads to travel and commerce, it’s easily accessible. From downtown Roanoke (north of the airport) take Interstate 581, turn off at Exit 3E onto Hershberger Road which then branches off onto Aviation Drive, and the airport entrance is second on the left. You can also reach ROA from Virginia State Route 118 which connects to the terminal via Municipal Drive and the airport terminal entrance is the second on the left. From the east and west take Interstate 81 to Exit 143, which takes you to Interstate 581. From the south take the Interstate 581 to Exit 3C. From Virginia Tech follow US-460E to Interstate 81 and take Exit 143 onto Interstate 581.
The Smart Way Bus service runs from Campbell Court and the Roanoke Hotel/Higher Education Center in downtown Roanoke. The journey takes around 15 minutes and is available from Monday through to Saturday.
Many hotels in the surrounding area offer a complimentary shuttle service to ROA Airport and it is worth asking when you are making your reservation. You can also opt for a private shuttle service which are provided by the Roanoke Airport Transportation Services.
If you find yourself at Roanoke Airport during inclement weather, take advantage of the free shuttle to the short-term, long-term and overflow parking lots. The service operates during times of extreme weather conditions, collecting passengers from door five of the terminal.
Make sure you prepare your luggage in advance to ensure smooth passage through TSA checkpoints. Remember the 3-1-1 regulation for toiletries (up to 3.4 ounces in a one quart-sized plastic bag and only one bag per person). Check you aren’t accidentally carrying a prohibited item such as a knife on a key chain. If you have any doubts contact the PreCheck staff directly on +1 (866) 289-9673 and they will answer any questions or queries you may have.
If your trip coincides with end of term at the nearby colleges, factor in extra time for your trip to the airport and passing through security. Many college students use Roanoke Airport to travel home during vacations and the airport can be especially busy during these peak periods.
ROA Airport offers non-stop flights to Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Orlando and St. Petersburg. If you want to reach other destinations there are frequent connecting services provided by the hubs of American Airlines, Delta, and United Airlines.
ROA states that it is open whenever there are passengers, which means that the terminal is usually open from 3:30am and closes around 1:00am, or when the last flight arrives. Ticket counters are open from approximately 4:00am until the last flight, the landside restaurant is open from 4:30am until after the last flight and the food facilities in the concourse are open from 5:00am until after the last flight, which includes staying open should there be any delays.
Roanoke is considered a small airport compared to others in the USA in terms of landmass, covering only 904 acres of land. In terms of passenger numbers, it is also a small airport as it currently attends to approximately half a million passengers a year from its single terminal. Due to the size and relatively low passenger levels, the airport ensures a relaxed start to your trip.
Roanoke Airport sits three miles (six kilometers) northwest of downtown Roanoke and is located in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the largest municipality in Southwest Virginia in the Southeast of the United States. As ROA Airport is close to the intersection of Interstate 81 and Interstate 581 it is well connected to other major cities.
Although Roanoke Airport has never had an international passenger service, the Airport Commission was willing to change its status in 2001 when the area covered by the port in Dublin was expanded to include Roanoke. However, due to the economic downturn at the time this did not lead to the addition of international travel from Roanoke Airport and to date it remains a regional airport.
It is easy to navigate to ROA using the ZIP code VA 24012 and following signs to the airport. From the north and south take Interstate 581, from the east and west take Interstate 81 to Exit 143 onto Interstate 581. From Virginia Tech take US-460E to Interstate 81. Once on Interstate 581 you need to take Exit 3 onto Hershberger Road which leads to Aviation Drive and the airport entrance is second on the left.
The airlines American, Delta and United recommend arriving 90 minutes prior to your scheduled departure and Allegiant recommend two hours. As it is a small, quiet airport many passengers suggest arriving later. Should you choose to do so, bear in mind that check-in activity is not allowed any later than 30 minutes before your departure. The busiest days of the year at Roanoke are the Friday prior to Thanksgiving and the Sunday after Thanksgiving, so if you are planning to travel on these dates it is worth checking the website to see if they advise arriving before the 90 minute suggested period.
Roanoke-Blacksburg Airport offers free wireless internet access throughout the terminal building. To get connected you have to select SSID ROA-WI-FI and then open your browser. You can then surf for an unlimited amount of time.
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