CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Yeager Airport’s runway could be getting an upgrade thanks to a $5.6 million grant the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority received from the Federal Aviation Administration.
The grant was provided in order to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement, airport officials say. The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority proposed the Yeager Airport Runway Safety Project to establish a standard 1,000-foot-long by 500-foot-wide runway safety area at both ends of Runway 5-23 and would make the runway length 7,000 feet.
According to Yeager Airport officials, the project would require approximately 12.8 million to 20 million cubic yards of fill to accommodate the proposed shift and standard safety areas. Officials say a successful EIS project will allow the airport to make room for 50 to 60 extra acres of developable land, which could be used for hangars, industrial parks and more aircraft parking.
Yeager Airport officials say if the project is able to move forward, it will bring in more money to the economy and bring jobs to the area for the construction project.
“If the Environmental Impact Study is mitigated and the Runway Safety Project moves forward, it has a potential economic impact of $300 million and hundreds of construction jobs,” said Yeager Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller.
Officials say the project is part of the airport’s long-term goal to become the state’s most significant economic engine.
West Virginia’s U.S. Senators also shared their enthusiasm for the project:
“As our state’s largest airport, it’s important that Yeager Airport has the facilities and resources needed to handle the volume of travelers that come through every day while providing the opportunity to grow,” said U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV).
“Yeager Airport serves a critical role in driving economic development throughout the entire state of West Virginia. This investment from the FAA is welcomed news and an important step towards the continued expansion of Yeager Airport,” said U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)