Press Releases

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) introduced a bipartisan amendment sponsored by Sens. John Hoeven (R-ND) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) to the FY19 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) portion of the ‘minibus II’ spending package that would provide $6 million towards unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) research to safely integrate them into the national airspace. 

Currently, the FY19 T-HUD base bill makes $3 million available as matching funds for companies that partner with the UAS test sites working towards integrating UAS into the national airspace. Sen. Warner’s amendment would boost UAS research funding levels to $6 million. The text of the amendment can be found here.

“This amendment will ensure we continue supporting advancements in the safe and responsible integration of unmanned systems in our airspace. I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure we provide the necessary funding towards research and development of this cutting-edge technology so that the U.S. can maintain our competitive edge,” said Sen. Warner.

Sen. Warner has been a strong supporter of research and investment in unmanned systems, including driverless cars, drones, and unmanned under water vehicles. He has introduced bipartisan legislation designed to advance the development of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and build on the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) efforts to safely integrate them into the National Airspace System. Virginia is home to one of seven FAA-approved sites across the country where researchers are testing the safest and most effective ways to incorporate UAS into the existing airspace. In May 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) announced the selection of Virginia to participate in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Pilot Program (IPP).



WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $1,081,958 in federal Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding for the Floyd County Economic Development Authority to construct a new access road for the Floyd Regional Commerce Center. The funding, which leverages $30 million in private investment—will fund approximately 0.21 miles of access road, an industrial cul-de-sac, as well as pedestrian and bike path to facilitate Floyd County’s development of the Floyd Regional Commerce Center. The Floyd County Economic Development Authority estimates that completion of the Commerce Center would promote economic development with the potential to support more than 100 new jobs in the region. 

“The Appalachian Regional Commission has supported communities in Appalachia since its formation and we are proud to advocate for the program in the Senate and announce funding for projects like this that expand economic development and opportunity in the region,” the Senators said. “This funding will allow Floyd County to improve its access to the Regional Commerce Center and spur further opportunities for growth in the area. We hope that projects like this, and the impact they have in Southwest Virginia, will encourage President Trump and House Republicans to rethink their choice to end ARC in their 2018 budget proposals. ”

Since its inception in 1965, ARC has generated over 300,000 jobs and $10 billion for the 25 million Americans living in Appalachia. ARC has provided funding and support for job-creating community projects across the 13 Appalachian states, producing an average of $204 million in annual earnings for a region often challenged by economic underdevelopment. President Trump’s budget proposes eliminating the program entirely.

In June, Warner and Kaine joined a group of six other U.S. Senators urging Senate appropriators to fully fund the Appalachian Regional Commission in 2018 at $152 million and reject the Trump Administration’s proposal to end the state-federal partnership.

The project will be administered through the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).



WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Tim Kaine announced today that nine Virginia airports will receive $18,826,746 in funds from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help enhance new and existing infrastructure. The airports receiving funding serve the following Virginia counties: Accomack, Brunswick, Campbell, Franklin, Frederick, Hanover, Mecklenburg, Suffolk, Washington, and Wise.

“This funding is essential to help Virginia’s airports make necessary upgrades to infrastructure,” said the Senators. “These grants will help our local airports improve travel and plan for future operations and growth.”

Airports and grant amounts are listed below:

  • Virginia Highlands Airport (Washington County) - $5,924,328. This grant will help construct a 1,029 foot runway extension to allow Runway 06/24 to meet the operational needs of the airport, specifically funding drainage improvements necessary to adequately handle storm water runoff associated with the extension of Runway 06/24.
  • Suffolk Executive Airport - $3,756,000.This grant will fund the rehabilitation of the runway’s lighting.
  • Hanover County Municipal Airport - $2,773,436. This grant will help construct a 29,200 square yard apron on the east side of the airport. The new apron will increase parking capacity for transient and based aircraft.
  • Mecklenburg-Brunswick Regional Airport- $2,666,151. This grant will fund the rehabilitation of 1,200 feet of the existing t-hangar taxiway pavement that requires rehabilitation to ensure safe airfield operations and the rehabilitation of 8,000 square yards of the existing terminal apron to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement.
  • Franklin Municipal-John Beverly Rose Airport - $1,736,100. This grant will help fund a 1,250 foot extension of the parallel taxiway and an additional 570 feet for the connector taxiways. This project will enhance safety by eliminating the need for aircraft to back-taxi on the runway.
  • Lynchburg Regional Airport - $1,111,500.00. This grant will fund the partial rehabilitation of the current Taxiway B and Taxiway G lighting system that has reached the end of its useful life and requires rehabilitation to enhance safe airfield operations during low visibility conditions.
  • Accomack County Airport - $376,131. This grant will help fund the rehabilitation of 5,000 feet of Runway 3/21 to maintain the structural integrity of the pavement and to minimize foreign object debris and will fund the rehabilitation of the current Runway 3/21 lighting system that has reached the end of its useful life and requires rehabilitation to meet FAA standards.
  • Winchester Regional Airport - $316,600.This grant will help fund the relocation of 5,500 feet of Taxiway A to assist the airport in meeting design standards, will provide funding for the acquisition of 0.52 acres of land adjacent to the existing airport property, will fund the removal of tree obstructions in the Runway 14 approach surface, and will provide funding for the removal of 6 acres of tree obstructions.
  • Lonesome Pine Airport (Wise County) - $166,500. This grant will fund an update to the existing airport master plan study to show current and future needs of the airport.

This funding was granted through the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), a program that provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports that are significant to national air transportation.


Washington, DC – Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner today supported final passage of the FY 2010 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill which addresses a number of transportation and housing needs of the nation and the Commonwealth of Virginia. The bipartisan measure passed by a vote of 73 to 25 and will now go to conference committee with the House of Representatives.