The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority (CWVRAA) today announced that Dominique Ranieri, currently West Virginia International Yeager Airport’s (CRW) Assistant Airport Director and Chief Operating Officer, has been selected as the Airport’s new Director and Chief Executive Officer. Ranieri will assume the new role immediately.

“The core team at CRW has created some significant momentum in recent months, Dominique will step in and continue that momentum. The Board has full confidence in her ability to facilitate a seamless transition. She has been involved in every major decision and project and will now lead those efforts,” said CWVRAA Board Chairman, Ed Hill.

Ranieri is the first female CEO in the Airport’s 75-year history. She has served as COO for several years, successfully leading nearly every function of the Airport. “The Airport is in a strong position and we will continue to work hard for the people of West Virginia, as we make improvements to our facility, develop air service, facilitate the education of America’s future aviators attending Marshall University’s Bill Noe Flight School, and support the West Virginia National Guard’s 130th Airlift Wing.” said Ranieri.

“I am humbled by the confidence placed in me by the Board of the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority. I would like to thank the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority Board of Members and Chairman, Ed Hill, for their support. I would like to specifically thank and recognize Kanawha County Commission President, Kent Carper, Commissioner Ben Salango, Commissioner, Lance Wheeler, and Charleston Mayor, Amy Goodwin” said Ranieri. “CRW is so fortunate to work closely with our local, State and Federal representatives. Thanks to the support of Senator Joe Manchin, Senator Shelley Moore Capito, Governor Justice, Tourism Secretary, Chelsea Ruby, and the many others who work tirelessly for the future of our City and State—CRW’s future is bright.”

Prior to joining the Airport in 2017, Ranieri practiced law in West Virginia, working at two national law firms. In 2022, Ranieri became a Certified Member (C.M.) of the American Association of Airport Executives, a designation signifying diverse knowledge of the primary functions of airport operations. Governor Justice recently appointed Dominique to the West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board. She was honored as one of The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 in 2021. Ranieri’s diverse skill set and experience, coupled with growing up in an aviation family, enables her to bring strategic vision and focus to CRW.

About West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW): For 75 years, West Virginia International Yeager Airport has served as an economic engine in the Mountain State. CRW was named after Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, a West Virginia native known best for being an American patriot, a World War II fighter pilot, and becoming the first pilot in history to exceed the speed of sound. CRW offers competitive airfare to destinations worldwide with nonstop flights to leisure and business destinations aboard American, Delta, United, and Spirit Airlines. For more information visit yeagerairport.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


TSA Removes its Federal Mask Mandate, Masks now Optional on Public Transportation

TSA Removes its Federal Mask Mandate, Masks now Optional on Public Transportation

On Monday, a federal judge in Florida struck down the CDC’S mask requirements for planes and trains, ruling that the agency overstepped its statutory authority. As a result, the administration said Monday evening that it would stop enforcing the federal mask mandate.

TSA released a statement, saying in part, “Due to today’s court ruling, effective immediately, TSA will no longer enforce its Security Directives and Emergency Amendment requiring mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs.” 

You can read the complete statement read here










Yeager Airport has partnered with the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower organization, allowing some passengers to ask discretely for support.

To better meet the needs of all travelers with disabilities, CRW is launching the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program beginning December 16, 2021. Travelers with hidden disabilities can now request a free sunflower lanyard, bracelet, or pin at the welcome counter in baggage claim to let airport staff know they may need a little help or extra patience.

“Making sure our passengers feel comfortable while they travel through CRW is our top priority. Our passengers have always been our biggest supporters, and we want those who may require additional support and accommodations to have a quality travel experience,” said Airport Director Nick Keller. “We are thrilled to implement another program that puts our passenger’s well-being first.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control. 26 percent of American adults have some disability; many are not visually apparent.

The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program first started in 2016 at Gatwick Airport in Great Britain. Since the program’s launch, airports across the globe have joined the program, including Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Orlando International Airport, to which CRW offers direct flights.

CRW also works with several certified therapy dogs through another new program, Herc’s Pals. Herc’s Pals volunteers and their animals offer a friendly experience to soothe some passengers of their travel worries.

CRW Combats Pilot Shortage with Flight School

The travel industry is slowly bouncing back after 18 months in a worldwide pandemic. But, with plane and pilot shortages, the future of travel is well – up in the air.

Five thousand pilots accepted early retirement offers from mainline U.S. carriers aviation consultant Kit Darby told industry publication Travel Weekly. Airlines are anticipating reaching the 2019 travel level by next year or in 2023, but in order to grow, pilots need to be replaced fast and at a higher capacity.

Airports are catching on and are becoming creative on how to combat this shortage. Over the next two decades, it’s projected that 87 new pilots will need to be trained and ready to fly a commercial airliner every day to meet the demand for air travel. Overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is estimated to grow 6% from 2018 to 2028, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,

Flight training schools have popped up across the country and at CRW in response to the pilot shortage. Kristen Sayre is one of three women in CRW’s Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School’s inaugural class. 

“This was a great time to start school because the demand for pilots is only going to increase, especially for women pilots opportunity an even greater opportunity for women in aviation. I think the national statistic for women pilots is 8%, and it’s even longer for career pilots. So right now, there are three of us out of 18 students; we are defying the statistic right now, which is awesome,” Sayre said.

It only took 363 days of construction on CRW’s Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School, where future pilots have a state-of-the-art building and hangar for their education and training. 

“It’s a four-year program. The school just got started up a few months ago. It all came together so quickly, as everyone knows. It b took a year for them to set it all up, which is awesome considering all that,” Sayre said. 

Ben Epperly is in Sayre’s class. For him, his flight path was always clear. 

“Since I was a kid, I have always liked aviation: the sights, the sounds. Always being at the airport. Its excitement in the air” said Epperly.

Marshall University’s planned Commercial Pilot: Fixed Wing, B.S. degree program will help meet the nation’s projected significant need for commercial pilots over the next 20 years. In addition, its ground and flight courses will lead to many FAA certifications and prepare graduates to become commercial pilots of single and multi-engine aircraft.

“I will definitely fly commercial but with an airline, but ii may start corporate first,” Sayre said.

“To be a commercial pilot and fly any airline I can get a hold of. Delta, American all that to fly internationally is what I want to do,” Epperly said. 

The new bachelor’s degree program just began in the fall 2021 semester.

Yeager Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller plans to grow the program and bring West Virginia an extra economic boost.


“West Virginia and Marshall Bill Noe Flight School and Yeager Airport play a key role in reversing the pilot shortage and help add new pilots. Where I want to see the flight school now is to continue adding new students every semester. In addition, Marshall has new aircraft on order. So imagine in 5 years, over 200 full-time college students going to school at Yeager Airport through Marshall University, graduating up to 50 pilots a year. There is also the opportunity for Marshall to add in different degree programs in aviation management or aerospace engineering.”


“One of the things the airport is doing is we are talking to airlines partnering with Marshall University for cadet programs. The program is a pathway for someone who is in pilot training to get a guaranteed job at an airline once they graduate. So they can start with an airline and get into the program; this would help students compete in the economy.”

The Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School will enroll more than 200 students and produce some 50 commercial pilots annually when in full operation.

The curriculum will teach students aeronautics, navigation, flight control, and communication systems.

The incentive to get more pilots is enticing. Based on national data, professional pilots enjoy a great ROI, estimated at 55x, compared to other popular professions like engineers, attorneys, and physicians, estimated at 30-40x. 

“It’s the perfect time for us, I mean, especially w this location here and all the job opportunities we will be able to get, and it won’t take very long,” said Epperly. 

The median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers was $147,220 in 2019, while the median yearly salary for commercial pilots was $86,080.


One of the Best Fall Locations is One Short Flight Away

One of the Best Fall Locations is One Short Flight Away

In just a matter of weeks, there will be a chill in the air while you are drinking your morning coffee, the leaves will be starting to show some color, and the waters of the Atlantic Ocean will be a little colder. So, while your favorite summer vacation spots are winding down for the year, the best fall locations are just starting to heat up.

Charlotte is just one of the major cities you can fly to from Yeager Airport in under an hour. You might be thinking to yourself, “Charlotte, for a fall trip?” The Queen City might not be the first spot on your list for best fall locations, but we are here to convince you to make the short flight down to the southern part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Boarding a plane to one of the best fall locations

American Airlines boarding a plane at Yeager Airport to Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

A Fall Oasis of Fun

First up on the list of things we would suggest is the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Wait, what? West Virginia already has world-class whitewater rafting. Why go to North Carolina for this? Let’s look at everything you can do at the whitewater center.

  • Whitewater Rafting/Kayaking on the world’s largest manmade river.
  • Navigate a rope course over the river.
  • Jump from a 100 ft. platform.
  • Ice skating
  • Climb the world’s first deepwater solo climbing complex.
  • Bouldering, top-rope, and sport climbing on one of the largest outdoor climbing complexes on the East Coast.
  • Flatwater Kayaking
  • Mountain Biking

Just looking at the Whitewater Center’s pictures has us ready to hop on the next flight to CLT. You can buy one or two day passes to this oasis of fun, or you can purchase single activity passes. Still not convinced, let’s look at some more things to do in the Queen City.

Charlotte is one of the best fall destinations

Overlooking the Charolette Skyline, one of the best fall destinations.

A Climbing Destination

Want to bring the outdoors inside? Inner peaks climbing is a massive indoor rock-climbing park for first-time climbers and the most advanced climbers. Inner Peaks has a great video on their website that shows everything you can do and then some. We will let the video speak for itself.

Exploring Charlotte

Charlotte is jam-packed full of things to do; we could never list them in all in just one article. Here is a list of items in Charlotte that are fun but you may have forgotten about:

The list could go on with all the fantastic restaurants and nightlife in Uptown. That could be a trip all on its own. The Discovery Place is a great place to take the entire family. The little ones will be busy all day there, exploring everything from wildlife to designing forts.

So, if the Queen City has never been on your radar for one of the best fall locations, we hope this article at least piques your interest. If you want to check out more of the exciting things to do in the Charlotte area, their visitor website is easy to navigate and provides links to all the attractions, restaurants, breweries, nightlife, and more.

We hope to see you hopping on a flight to CLT soon!

Yeager Airport Job Fair

Yeager Airport Job Fair

If you have ever wondered what it is like to work at an Airport, this is your opportunity! Join us for a Job Fair at CRW on Friday, June 18th in baggage claim! Several exciting jobs are available with different agencies: the Airport Authority, Capital Jet Center, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Airport Food Vendors, Airlines, and more! Bring your resume and chat with one of our friendly employees from 8:00 AM – 6 PM. 

When: June 18, 2021

Where: Yeager Airport Baggage Claim

Who: Yeager Airport, Capital Jet Center, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Airport Food Vendors, Airlines, and more!