CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The West Virginia International Yeager Airport will be getting a $2.29 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to go toward the third phase of study for an Airfield, Safety, and Terminal Improvement Project Environmental Impact Statement.

According to airport officials, the FAA grant was accepted by the Central West Virginia Airport Authority Board Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023.

Yeager Airport officials say the funding will go toward additional research for the EIS the Airport Authority Board will put together. Officials also say the additional funding will allow them to explore alternatives to the controversial plan to expand one of the airport’s runways into Coonskin Park. They say this could include ideas such as expanding on the opposite end of the runway, transferring aviation activity to other airports, or even building a new airport, among other options.

According to officials, federal regulation requires that while compiling the EIS, board members “rigorously explore and objectively evaluate all reasonable alternatives.”

The next step of the Airfield, Safety, and Terminal Improvement Project is to draft the EIS then allow for a 45-day public comment period, which must include at least one public meeting.

If the proposed expansion for the project goes through, the currently 6,700 runway would be expanded to 7,000 feet for Phase 1 and then to 8,000 feet for Phase 2, taking away a portion of Coonskin Park