“West Virginia Worldwide Yeager Airport” may not roll off the tongue with the convenience of the Charleston airport’s present identify. However airport officers are hopeful the general public will rapidly adapt to utilizing, and change into adept at saying, the rebranded moniker when it turns into official on Jan. 1, 2022.
Yeager Airport’s governing board on Wednesday voted unanimously to approve its advertising and marketing committee’s suggestion for the identify enhancement, which has been within the works since March. The board additionally voted to just accept a $5.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to pay for an environmental affect assertion for the deliberate extension of the runway and safety-overrun space into Coonskin Park.
In response to the advertising and marketing committee’s report back to the board, the identify change — or “addition,” as it’s referred to within the report — offers “a possibility to lift model consciousness” for the airport, making it potential to draw extra passengers.
Whereas the Charleston airport presently affords no direct worldwide industrial flights, it’s the website of West Virginia’s solely U.S. Customs and Border Safety port of entry. It’s used as such by intermittent worldwide flights by company and air cargo plane, utilizing the companies of a Customs agent with an workplace on the airport.
When a brand new, freestanding U.S. Customs and Border Safety constructing now taking form subsequent to Capital Jet Middle, Yeager’s basic aviation terminal, is full in December, will probably be in a position to deal with Customs-clearance chores for personal and army plane carrying as much as 20 passengers every.
The addition of ‘West Virginia Worldwide’ to the airport’s identify “will assist us entice future air service,” community planners have advised Yeager officers, in accordance with the advertising and marketing report. The report additionally concluded that retaining the identify of supersonic flight pioneer, air fight ace and West Virginia native Chuck Yeager within the airport’s title “will put Common Yeager’s legacy on a national-international scale.”
Yeager Airport is one among 31 airports within the nation missing an figuring out metropolis, state or area in its identify, whereas West Virginia is one among solely 5 states that lack airports with an “worldwide” designation, in accordance with the report.
The brand new identify additionally ought to make it simpler to determine the airport as an entry level for the nation’s latest nationwide park, the New River Gorge Nationwide Park and Protect, and cut back occurrences of a geographical journey error that has plagued generations of air vacationers.
“I do not know the way many individuals have arrived right here pondering they’re stepping right into a terminal at Charleston, South Carolina,” mentioned Ed Hill, chairman of Yeager’s governing board.
Yeager Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller mentioned the environmental affect assertion for the runway extension is anticipated to take about three years to finish. It’ll embody public enter and an examination of how the proposed building would have an effect on the ecology and operation of Coonskin Park, he mentioned.
The $5.6 million grant to pay for the environmental research “is a crucial first step for our dream of getting an 8,000-foot runway” with 1,000-foot security zones at every finish, Hill mentioned.
An $8.7 million rehabilitation venture underway at Yeager would require the closing of the airport’s predominant runway from 11 p.m. on Fridays to 7 a.m. on Sundays for eight consecutive weekends, beginning at 11 p.m. Aug. 6.