Nick Keller, A.A.E., Earns Professional Airport Accreditation

Nick Keller, A.A.E., Earns Professional Airport Accreditation

Nick Keller, A.A.E., Airport Director & Chief Executive Officer, West Virginia International Yeager Airport, Charleston, WV, has been awarded the distinction of Accredited Airport Executive (A.A.E.) by the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE).


To qualify for his distinction, Nick had to successfully complete three phases of the accreditation process: (1) pass a 180-item multiple-choice examination, (2) fulfill a writing requirement, and (3) demonstrate, in the final interview by a panel of A.A.E.s, his knowledge of airport management, business administration, and general transportation economics. Nick’s achievement attests to his ability to meet these stringent requirements and his experience in managing a public airport.


By fulfilling all the requirements leading to the title of Accredited Airport Executive, Nick joins a select group of individuals who have earned the designation in the six-plus decades of the accreditation program’s existence. At present, fewer than eight percent of AAAE’s members throughout the country are active accredited airport executives.


ABOUT AAAE: Founded in 1928, AAAE ( is the world’s largest professional organization representing the men and women who work at public-use commercial and general aviation airports. AAAE’s 8,000-plus members represent some 870 airports and hundreds of companies and organizations that support the airport industry. Headquartered in Alexandria, Va., AAAE serves its membership through results-oriented representation in Washington, D.C. and delivers a wide range of industry services and professional development opportunities including training, conferences, and a highly respected accreditation program.



On Friday, May 6 at 11 AM, West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) will hold a joint press event with Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation (KRT) in baggage claim at CRW.

CRW is partnering with KRT to offer nightly bus service at the airport. Beginning June 1, 2022, travelers will have access to free transportation to hotels in downtown Charleston.

“We are thrilled to announce our new partnership with KRT, said Airport Director & CEO Nick Keller. “We are always looking for innovative ways to enhance the passenger journey.”

The trial service to gauge need will be offered to travelers flying into CRW from 9:00 PM to the last scheduled flight. This will give travelers an additional option for transportation services at CRW once they land in Charleston.

Kanawha Valley Regional Transportation Executive Director, Sean Hill, said, “KRT takes being a part of Kanawha County’s economic development engine very seriously. It is refreshing to have a partner in CRW that shares that same vision.“

There will be a designated area for the bus, and a dispatcher’s cell number will be provided.

West Virginia International Yeager Airport Unveils New Interactive Installation

West Virginia International Yeager Airport Unveils New Interactive Installation

West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) has partnered with Mountain Stage to bring passengers a unique, interactive experience. The only requirement is that you have a phone to scan the QR Code, which will take you to your personal, interactive experience.

The new installation at the A Gate will allow passengers to create their own Mountain Stage Art by scanning a Snapchat code. Passengers will also have access to scan and watch select performances or purchase tickets for live shows.

“CRW is proud to showcase the work and talent behind Mountain Stage,” Marketing Manager Paige Withrow said. “We are proud that we will be able to share a piece of West Virginia culture with our traveling public for the rest of the country to enjoy in its authentic form.”

Mountain Stage is a two-hour program that airs every week on nearly 300 NPR stations across the United States, worldwide via NPR Music and at

Mountain Stage host, Grammy winner, and West Virginia native Kathy Mattea, and co-founder Larry Groce will be in attendance and available for media interviews.

The media event will be held at CRW on May 2 at 10:30 AM.



Through a new partnership with the Charleston Area Alliance, CRW is teaming up with business leaders from all sectors, including government, tourism, technology, chemicals, banking, law, and education, to form an Air Service Working Group. The working group will come up with a strategic plan and goals to retain and attract additional airline service to CRW through minimum revenue guarantees and incentives.

Airports across the nation compete for air service development, and airlines consider many factors when investing in markets. One of which is business community support. Data collected from the coalition helps send a strong message to airlines that the business community is engaged in air service needs in our region.

West Virginia International Yeager Airport is not just an airport. We are a gateway to business growth, experiences, connections, and the world, which has powered CRW to continue pushing for additional air service.

Aircraft operations far exceed pre-pandemic levels, with a 15% increase in operations. People are starting to feel comfortable traveling again for business and leisure, and CRW wants to capitalize on this.

“We want to preserve and increase our connectivity to thrive. Thriving air travel is vital for the business community, particularly those looking to relocate or expand,” said Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller. “CRW has an annual economic impact of $225 million and supports almost 3.000 jobs. This impact puts us in a position to help lead West Virginia’s economic recovery.”

Being in the Capital city, CRW plays a vital economic role in business. Connectivity for their clients and employees is crucial when companies look to relocate.

“We understand that air travel is vital to our community and the business community. In addition, living near a well-connected airport is important to people,” said President and CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance, Nicole Christian. “The Alliance is pleased to partner with CRW to help the airports efforts to market the region’s assets and promote future services.”

The air service working group is excited to work together to help the airport’s efforts to market the region’s assets and retain and grow air service.

U.S. Customs Border and Protection Facility Open

U.S. Customs Border and Protection Facility Open

April 19, 2022, marks the opening of the new U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) General Aviation Facility (GAF) at West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW). CRW is the only international port of entry in the state of West Virginia. As a result, international aircraft operators will now have the ability to land at CRW and process through the U.S. Customs facility to visit and do business in the region.

A collaborative effort was crucial for the completion of this facility. Airport leaders and government partners at all levels were involved in helping this substantial project come to fruition.

“We are grateful to our partners at the federal, state, and local level,” said West Virginia International Yeager Airport Director and CEO, Nick Keller. “Their collaboration allowed us to achieve the international designation and to complete construction of the CBP facility.”

“Prior to the opening of this new facility, CBP at Charleston was limited to processing United States Citizen due to the lack of a proper facility,” said Mark J. Laria, Area Port Director for Norfolk, “This facility will allow CBP to fulfill our border security mandate while supporting the economic growth at the Yeager International Airport.”

With the opening of the CBP facility, the airport’s name was updated to reflect its new international status. Having an international airport in the region is an essential economic development tool. With international access available for private aircraft, visitors to Charleston will begin having an impact on the region’s economy as soon as they land.

A ribbon-cutting event is being held on April 19, 2022, at 1 PM to commemorate the opening of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility. Event attendees will hear from airport leaders and elected officials and be offered behind-the-scenes tours of the facility.

West Virginia International Yeager Airport Certified Rapid Refuel Location for Ospreys

West Virginia International Yeager Airport Certified Rapid Refuel Location for Ospreys

Through West Virginia International Yeager Airport’s (CRW) Home Base Program, CRW is now a certified hot fuel location for Ospreys.

On Tuesday, April 13, 2022, a V-22 Osprey landed at CRW from Norfolk, VA to hot fuel.

Rapid or “hot” refueling is refueling an aircraft while at least one engine is still running. Hot fueling reduces the time it takes an aircraft to get back into the air and carry out additional missions. CRW is one of a small handful of certified hot fuel locations in the eastern half of the United States.

Shutting down the aircraft, fueling, and starting back up can take more than an hour, while hot fueling takes just 15 – 20 minutes. CRW is a certified rapid fueling location and uses the same procedures to hot fuel that are used on military bases around the world.

CRW Airport Director & CEO Nick Keller says the increased military flights will benefit the Airport and the community.

“The increased military presence at CRW is no accident. We are meeting our goal of attracting more military aircraft to not only CRW but the state,” said Nick Keller, Airport Director & CEO. “As a result, CRW is on the path to increase the economic impact of the Home Base Program on the local economy in 2022.”

In 2021, the Home Base Program attracted over 150 military units to CRW for fuel. The local impact was over $110,547 in hotels and meals in Charleston, WV.

The public may notice additional military air traffic in the area in the coming months. Hot refueling is heavily regulated, and the Airport’s program has received approval from the Defense Logistics Agency.