WEST VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL YEAGER AIRPORT HOME BASE FOR MILITARY AIRCRAFT RAPID FUELING
Through West Virginia International Yeager Airport’s (CRW) Home Base Program, CRW will again welcome military aircraft to refuel by rapid fueling.
Rapid or “hot” refueling is the process of 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.
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.
“Hot refueling puts agility at the forefront,” said Nick Keller, Airport Director & CEO. “Military aircraft can land at CRW without shutting off their engines and then reliably and quickly take back off to fulfill another mission.”
In 2021, the Home Base Program attracted over 150 military units to CRW for fuel. As a result, CRW hopes to drastically increase the economic impact of the Home Base Program on the local economy in 2022. 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.
YEAGER AIRPORT LAUNCHES PROGRAM TO HELP PEOPLE WITH HIDDEN DISABILITIES
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.
Here at Yeager Airport, we move fast and efficiently; we also pride ourselves on staying ahead and being forward thinkers who don’t have a box to think outside of.
Our latest project is electrifying CRW with electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, better known as eVTOL. WATCH HERE or read below for more.
“This is an opportunity for Kanawha County and West Virginia to be at the forefront of emerging technology. A lot of this stuff hasn’t been done before. We can be at the forefront of this technology while trying to achieve our vision of being the most significant economic engine of the state of West Virginia by bringing high-paying, high-tech jobs,” said Airport Director Nick Keller.
At the end of October, The Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority Board voted to move forward with a consulting group, Thrasher. This agreement means that a team of consultants will prepare CRW and West Virginia for an eVTOL infrastructure.
“The groundwork phase has kicked off. We are doing cost estimating right now to see the financial obligation for that battery research center. We are in talks with the engineering school at Marshall with their thoughts on what this will look like, how it will function, and what sort of equipment we will need….so we can be more attractive to different funding sources,” said Thrasher Marketing Director, Heidi Handley.
For the last six weeks, Director Keller, and Thrasher Group, Marshall University, and the Robert C. Byrd Institute have been working on several eVTOL opportunities.
“That would include electrifying our airport, putting charging stations in, and looking around the state to put these landing pads for aircraft. The potential to have an aerospace manufacturing facility in the Kanawha valley and region would make these aircraft batteries. Thrasher is under contract to help us review this and help us with federal grant applications, land acquisition, and site development. The whole host of everything that relates to eVTOL” said Keller.
eVTOL aircraft are battery operated and will be a significant milestone for CRW’s zero-emission aviation industry. Board members like Ed Hill and Jim Dodtrill all approve of Director Keller’s vision of electrifying CRW.
“We see an economic opportunity that will significantly benefit this area and the state,” said Hill.
“For the state and the region because we are on the front edge of it. For example, if we do the battery research center in cooperation with Marshall, it will be the first in the world. It’s kind of like if you built it, they would come. It will be like a magnet; it will attract the eVTOL companies to West Virginia,” said Dodrill.
CRW is working hard to lock in grant funding, and depending on that, we could see work on the infrastructure being done as soon as the following year.