CHARLESTON — Whereas COVID-19 continues to take a toll on air journey, Yeager Airport is searching for new alternatives for development, together with the event of a tract of taxiway-fronting land between Marshall College’s Invoice Noe Flight Faculty and property owned by 130th Airlift Wing.
The Charleston airport’s governing board voted three years in the past to increase Eagle Mountain Highway previous its former terminus on the basic aviation space to some extent a number of hundred ft past the deliberate MU classroom constructing and hangar, now underneath building barely forward of schedule.
The part of street past the flight college now supplies entry to a public remark space and dead-ends on the airport’s boundary with the Air Nationwide Guard base. It additionally supplies vehicular entry to eight acres of developable airport land fronting a taxiway.
To find out the perfect potential makes use of for that land, together with parts of the final aviation space, the airport commissioned Cincinnati-based aviation consulting agency Landrum and Brown to conduct a land use research.
An aviation restore store and air freight operators have beforehand expressed curiosity in doing enterprise from the Charleston airport.
Potential modifications in retailer for the final aviation space embody relocating the Hershel “Woody” Williams Navy Flight Operations Middle to a brand new web site in a bigger constructing elsewhere on the airport.
At a gathering of Yeager’s governing board on Wednesday, airport director Nick Keller mentioned the transfer would higher accommodate the elevated use of the Charleston airport as a staging space for coaching workouts by aviation items from all army branches.
“It will be nice to have one thing twice as huge as the present operations heart — one thing that might deal with two squadrons coaching right here on the identical time,” Keller mentioned.
The present army operations heart, named in honor of World Warfare II Medal of Honor recipient and West Virginia native Hershel “Woody” Williams, opened in 2019 in a former workplace constructing and adjoining hangar. It features a briefing space, workplace house, kitchen and altering amenities.
In the course of the previous calendar yr, 60 army flight squadrons have staged coaching missions from the Charleston airport, Keller mentioned, making use of a sequence of inactive floor mines made accessible by means of lease agreements secured from coal corporations by Yeager. The previous mine websites, most of them situated inside 30 air miles of the airport, are used for distant touchdown drills, drop zones, low-level and night time flight workouts and different actions.
In 2020, these army items purchased $796,000 value of gas from airport-owned Capital Jet Middle, Yeager’s basic aviation operation, and spent at the least $400,000 for lodging and meals at Charleston space inns and eating places, Keller mentioned.
To this point this month, Capital Jet Middle has allotted 22,484 gallons of gas to army plane, and a two-week coaching go to by a Marine flight contingent has been booked for February, adopted by a two-week Navy train in March.
Yeager has employed the Washington, D.C., legislation agency Kaplan Kirsch Rockwell to assist information the airport’s technique in finishing an environmental impression research for the deliberate runway extension into Coonskin Park. The legislation agency may even supply steering in contemplating the launch of a Yeager-based constitution flight operation, in accordance with Keller.
Two continuous business flights from Yeager will resume service on Feb. 11, when American Airways will supply one day by day flight to and from Washington’s Reagan Nationwide Airport and Spirit Airways will supply flights between Charleston and Orlando on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.