NORFOLK -- The Navy's search for a practice landing field for turboprops is now focused on Emporia-Greensville.

The Navy will begin a year-long environmental assessment of potential environmental issues of using Emporia-Greensville Regional Airport. The airport sits along U.S. Route 58, three miles east of the city of Emporia corporate limits. Its runway is 5009 feet long.

The Navy needs a place for E-2C Hawkeye and C-2 Greyhound pilots from Naval Station Norfolk Chambers Field to practice carrier landings.

The Navy hopes to use it 200 days a year, up to six hours a day and for as many as 20,000 flight passes.

The city's mayor believes this partnership could be beneficial.

'I'm very pleased to see that this study is going to be done,' said Mayor Sam Adams. 'Hopefully it'll come to fruition where the Navy does use our airfield for practice.'

'Anytime you can have cooperative efforts with local government such as Emporia and Greensville County and the Navy, the federal government, it's a win-win situation for us and certainly would create a lot of activity we would welcome. And for the Navy, it would provide them a landing field in close proximity to Norfolk,' added Adams.

Franklin repeatedly rejected the Navy's offer to pay up to a million a year to use Franklin Municipal Airport.

The Navy says the airport submitted a proposal earlier this year that met Navy requirements for turboprop carrier landing practice.

13News spoke with some residents about the possibility. Some seemed excited about the job potential and others were concerned about the noise.

Mayor Adams said because the planes that would be used are turboprop planes and not jets, the noise should not be an issue. He's hoping the Navy will conduct some test flights to give everyone an idea of what it might be like.

Read or Share this story: