PRESS RELEASE – WEST VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL YEAGER AIRPORT (CRW), SWILLED DOG, AND KANAWHA CHARLESTON HUMANE ASSOCIATION COLLABORATE FOR A PILOTS TO THE RESCUE TRANSPORT MISSION AT CAPITAL JET CENTER
CHARLESTON, WV – In a heartwarming display of community partnership, West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW), Swilled Dog, and the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association (KCHA) have joined forces to conduct a Pilots to the Rescue transport mission. The mission will take place on Sunday, September 24th at Noon at Capital Jet Center, the airport’s Fixed Based operator (FBO), showcasing the power of collaboration for a meaningful cause.
Swilled Dog, a WV-based distillery and cidery, is the driving force behind this mission. Inspired by their beloved rescue border collie, Lucy Pickles, Swilled Dog has made it their mission to support animal-related organizations. In an effort to assist the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, Swilled Dog has enlisted the help of Pilots to the Rescue, a non-profit organization comprised of volunteer pilots that transports animals from overcrowded shelters to regions with more room for adoption.
Pilots to the Rescue’s dedicated volunteers will fly into West Virginia International Yeager Airport on Sunday to retrieve dogs from the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association. These animals will then be safely transported to a shelter in Jackson, MI where they will be given a greater opportunity for adoption.
“This flight transport is happening at such an important time for our shelter,” said Sarah Tolley, Director of Community Engagement, Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association. “KCHA, like many shelters across the nation, have seen a decrease in dog adoptions over the past year.”
“We are excited for this partnership and the ability to give these animals another chance at adoption,” said Kim Kirk, Chief Experience Manager at Swilled Dog. “By sponsoring this mission, Swilled Dog hopes to raise awareness about the challenges of overcrowding shelters and the importance of adoption while helping these animals find the loving homes they deserve.”
The collaboration brings together the resources and dedication of these organizations to transport animals in need to a new home. Together, these organizations will ensure that animals facing uncertain futures are given a second chance. The Airport’s wildlife canine, CRW Hercules, and Swilled Dog’s border collie, Lucy Pickles, will both be at Capital Jet Center to help the mission come to life.
“We are honored to be part of this collaborative mission that exemplifies the best of our community,” said Airport Director & CEO Dominique Ranieri. “This mission shows the profound impact that organizations can have when they come together for a great cause.”
West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) and the Marshall University Chapter of Women in Aviation are teaming up to empower local girls ages 8 to 18 years with an opportunity to explore careers in aviation. The day’s activities will take place at the Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School from 10 AM – 2 PM on Saturday, September 23, 2023. More than 100 girls along with their chaperones are expected to attend.
“Our goal is to show our local community that there are exciting careers available to girls as engineers, aircraft maintenance technicians, pilots, dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and many other jobs within the aviation community,” said Dominique Ranieri, Airport Director & CEO. “We are excited to bring this first-time event to CRW.”
West Virginia International Yeager Airport and the Marshall University Chapter of Women in Aviation will join Women in Aviation International chapters around the world on September 23, 2023, for an outreach event to inspire the next generation of women in aviation. Already, more than 150 events are planned at airports, FBOs, museums, and hangars across the U.S., Canada, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Attendees will be able to participate in hands-on activities and meet women working throughout the aviation and aerospace industries.
“Events like this help introduce students to the wide variety of opportunities within the world of aviation, added Ranieri. “We hope that all of the attendees leave knowing that they can one day choose a career in this field.”
Registration to attend the Girls in Aviation Day event at West Virginia International Yeager Airport was required to participate and is now closed.
West Virginia International Yeager Airport is proud to announce that Chief Marketing Officer, Paige Withrow, has been named to The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 for 2023.
For 18 years, The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 has recognized young professionals’ understanding work and dedication to making West Virginia a better place to live, raise families, and do business.
Withrow graduated from West Virginia State University with a a Business Administration/Marketing degree. She has been a dedicated employee of CRW since 2016, when she started working at the Airport’s Fixed Based Operator (FBO) and worked her way up to Chief Marketing Officer in 2022. Having grown up in West Virginia, she has a deep-rooted connection to the community she serves. This connection is reflected in her passion for promoting the state and its unique offerings through her work at CRW.
“I am incredibly honored to be recognized as part of The State Journal’s Generation Next: 40 Under 40 for 2023,” said Withrow. “West Virginia holds a special place in my heart, and it is a privilege to contribute to the state’s growth and success through my role at West Virginia International Yeager Airport.”
“We are incredibly proud of Paige’s accomplishments and the well-deserved recognition she has received from The State Journal,” said Airport Director & CEO, Dominique Ranieri. “Her innovative marketing approach has elevated our airport’s brand and helped us achieve our strategic goals. This award is a testament to her hard work and commitment to our state, the Airport team, and our passengers.”
This is the fourth year in a row that an employee from CRW has been recognized by the State Journal.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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.
YEAGER AIRPORT RECEIVES MILLIONS FROM HISTORIC INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
Yeager Airport will receive $2.1 million in first-year funding from The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The funds will come from the Airport Infrastructure Grant program, one of three new aviation programs created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, that will be awarded to more than 3,000 airports across the United States.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides $15 billion for airport-related projects as defined under the existing Airport Improvement Grant and Passenger Facility Charge criteria. This is the first round of funding CRW will receive over five years that could be invested in runways, taxiways, safety and sustainability projects, as well as terminal, airport-transit, and roadway projects.
“The funding will go a long way as we invest in projects that will upgrade and modernize our airport. We now have the opportunity to fund projects that will meet our needs for the next 30 to 40 years,” said Airport Director & CEO Nick Keller. “’The funds will also help create jobs for West Virginia and bolster our state’s economy.”
CRW will be able to submit project proposals to the FAA for review in the coming weeks.
“I want to thank Senator Manchin and Senator Capito for their hard work fighting for airport infrastructure improvements” Keller stressed. Our vision at Yeager Airport is to be the biggest economic engine for the State of West Virginia, and this will give us momentum to achieve that goal.”
EMERGENCY LANDING AT YEAGER AIRPORT
This morning, Monday, November 8, 2021, at 9:43 AM, a Raytheon Hawker 800 (twin-jet) with four people on board, made an emergency landing at Yeager Airport (CRW). The aircraft’s final destination was Fort Pierce, Florida, and was diverted from Cleveland, Ohio, to CRW.
The pilot reported a possible problem with one of the aircraft’s engines. Before landing at CRW, the aircraft circled the Airport to burn fuel.
An Alert Level 2 Emergency was declared before the plane landed. The West Virginia Air National Guard and Kanawha County Emergency personnel responded quickly in accordance with the airport emergency plan.
At 10:18 AM, the plane landed safely at CRW and taxied to Capital Jet Center.
“CRW is thankful for the quick response by the 130th Fire Department, KCEAA and Charleston Fire Department said Yeager Airport CEO & Airport Director, Nick Keller.”
OPERATIONS AND YEAGER POLICE APPREHEND SUBJECT ON AIRFIELD
On Wednesday morning at approximately 6 AM, Operations Specialist Jennifer Fisher noticed a subject on the airfield during her routine patrol. Following CRW protocol, Fisher challenged the subject who could not produce an airport badge. Realizing the subject was not an airport employee, Fisher immediately notified Yeager Airport Police Department.
Once the subject spotted the police officers, the subject attempted to flee but was apprehended by Yeager Airport Police.
The subject was transported to the hospital for evaluation.
CRW is thankful and proud of the response by Airport Operations and Yeager Airport Police, executing their training to ensure a safe and successful end to the incident. CRW would also like to thank the Charleston Police Department for its assistance.
Yeager Airport Police, Operations, and Charleston Police Department continue to investigate.
There is no threat to the public.
INBOUND FLIGHT MAKES EMERGENCY LANDING AT YEAGER AIRPORT
On Monday at 10:12 pm, a scheduled CRJ-200 flying from Atlanta safely landed at CRW after reporting an emergency due to pressurization issues. The flight landed safely with no passengers or crew needing or requiring medical attention.
At 10 pm, Air Traffic Control Tower (ATCT) notified the Operations Specialist of the incoming flight experiencing an emergency with pressurization. Additionally, fog inside the cabin was reported to the ATCT.
Before the plane landed, the West Virginia Air National Guard 130th Fire Department quickly responded to the runway per CRW’s airport emergency plan.
At 10:12, the aircraft landed safely and taxis to Gate B1, followed by several 130th engines. When the plane stopped, the 130th boarded the aircraft to check for passenger medical issues and reported the oxygen masks were deployed with a faint smell of smoke in the cabin. All 51 souls on board were evacuated and refused medical attention.
CRW thanks the 130th Fire Department, Charleston Fire Department, KCEAA, and Charleston Police Department for their quick response.
Please check with your airline for the most up-to-date information regarding flight status.
YEAGER AIRPORT TAKES BIG STEP IN ELECTRIFYING CRW WITH SEVERAL EVTOL OPPORTUNITIES
On Wednesday, the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority approved entering into a contract with The Thrasher Group. Airport Design Consultants Inc. and Marshall University Center for Business and Economic Research will be sub-consultants. The agreement means a team of consultants will be fully engaged to prepare CRW and West Virginia for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) infrastructure.
CRW is working on multiple funding opportunities for the build-out of electric infrastructure at multiple West Virginia locations to operate eVTOL aircraft.
The contract will build on work conducted over the last six weeks where Thrasher and CRW, along with Marshall University, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute, have been working on several eVTOL opportunities, including:
- Establishing Air Taxi Intrastate Air Service and an eVTOL Center of Excellence
- The overall vision is for CRW to become a hub for future air taxi services with airline connections. The airport will serve as a center of excellence for eVTOL training and operations.
- Battery Research Center
- CRW will work with Marshall University, private companies, and others to explore opening the world’s first aerospace battery research center.
- Manufacturing Facility
- Thrasher will work with CRW to identify potential sites and conduct design work for aerospace components manufacturing facilities.
- Vertiports & electrification infrastructure
- Thrasher and sub-consultants will design eVTOL electric infrastructure, charging stations, landing pad facilities, vertiports, heliports, flight simulators, and associated support infrastructure at multiple locations
- CRW Airport Electrification Project
- This will include the design and construction of electrical infrastructure, landing pad, and aircraft charging stations.
- Design and construction of the aerospace economic development center, which would consist of a 10,000 square foot hangar for electric and other aircraft, terminal building for general aviation users, an innovation center, and aerospace business incubator and accelerator that will serve as a hub for the state.
Airport Director Nick Keller says the agreement is a significant milestone for CRW’s zero-emissions aviation industry. “This work and our partnership with the Thrasher Group will ensure the State of West Virginia is at the forefront of the emerging eVTOL industry, attracting good paying high tech aerospace jobs to the Mountain State”
Thrasher’s Director of Marketing, Heidi Handley, says this will be a transformational project. “As a West Virginia-based firm, it is exciting to be a part of an innovative project with such big implications for our state. The introduction of eVTOL truly can reshape the aerospace industry and greatly impact the economy throughout West Virginia. This will bring new, well-paying jobs – not only in the aviation space but through the construction and manufacturing industries that support eVTOL.”
Both parties will work closely to explore opportunities for how this type of technology can fit into existing and future operations at CRW with the plan of maximizing job opportunities and simplifying travel throughout the state.
About Yeager Airport (CRW): A study done by the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission says Yeager Airport is responsible for nearly 3,000 jobs and has a $225-million economic impact in the state. Yeager Airport is the largest commercial Airport in West Virginia, with service provided by American, Delta, Spirit, and United Airlines. The Airport’s Organizational Vision is: “To become the most important economic engine for the state through advances in aviation and education.” Yeager Airport, in conjunction with the West Virginia National Guard, hosts the Home Base Program. The program works to facilitate military ground, tactical, and air training in West Virginia.
For more information, please contact:
Rachel Urbanski, Public Affairs Specialist