LVIA trying to raise revenue

Author: , Reporter, JFarris@wfmz.com
Published: Feb 27 2013 07:00:00 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 28 2013 06:29:32 PM EST
HANOVER TWP., Pa. -

 Lehigh Valley International Airport has it eye on the prize:  a $37 million prize!

 That's how much the airport is hoping to raise over the next three years. 

 LVIA officials say those improvements will take care of a looming lawsuit settlement and make the airport more competitive.

So it's time to get creative.  Lehigh Valley International Airport officials are focused on raising the $37 million in three years.

They need $11 million to pay off a lawsuit settlement, and $26 million for capital improvements.

LVIA officials are getting creative, going after big-name events like the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Izod INDYCAR series races at Pocono Raceway.

 "We believe we are about 45-47 miles away from the raceway that we would be a perfect alternative for crews and drivers to fly in and land," said Lehigh Northampton Airport Authority Executive Director Charles Everett.

 Everett says crews would be flown via helicopter to the raceway.  It's a money making plan that could be in place before the green flag this summer.

But LVIA is also looking ahead at ways to make money off of  next year's Super Bowl at the Meadowlands in New Jersey.

"This  year down in New Orleans there were 600 general aviation aircraft that flew into the area and they needed to park," said Everett.

Everett says LVIA has plenty of airplane parking and is working with Discover Lehigh Valley on vacation packages and shuttle services.

LVIA is hoping these out of the box revenue raisers will help meet the  $37 million  goal, and $5 million on top of it for its long awaited federal inspection station allowing international travel.

"It is a high priority project, we have one grant in place  and we are looking at ways to match that state grant of $1.5 million" said Everett.

 Everett says LVIA needs to raise the matching funds by the end of the year to claim the grant.

He says he also has a few more revenue producing  ideas in the works  to help LVIA get there.