The Past, Present, and Future of Aviation
In the 1800s, the interest in “flying machines” really began taking off. That century was the first time people had an understanding of what it would take for people to fly. Still, by the end of the 1800s, no one was able to build a successful airplane.
It did not take long for the hard work of aeronautical advancement in the 1800s to pay off. In December 1903, the Wright Brothers made history. Wilbur and Orville Wright made four short flights in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, marking the dawn of a new age.
Airplanes proved their worth during World War I. In 1921 the Army Air Service brought dozens of aircraft to a small grass airfield in Kanawha City, West Virginia later named Wertz Field. Although Wertz Field wasn’t an ideal location for passenger traffic it continued to operate until 1942. On November 3, 1947, Kanawha Airport now Yeager Airport was opened, and the first commercial airline flights began operating a month later on December 1, 1947.
Today air travel makes it possible to get anywhere in the world in a short amount of time. Air travel is so popular, it is estimated that commercial airlines will need eighty-seven new pilots every day to keep up with the demand for flying.
Yeager Airport and Marshall University are going to be part of the solution to the potential commercial pilot shortage. In the fall of 2021, the Marshall University Bill Noe Flight School will open its (hangar) doors. The flight school will offer a Commercial Pilot: Fixed-Wing Bachelor of Science degree and an Aviation Maintenance AAS which will house around fifty students each year. Those students will get a first-class flight school education and help meet the nation’s projected need for commercial pilots over the next two decades.
The development of aviation programs with Marshall University is a tremendous opportunity for the airport and for the whole regional economy. Yeager Airport continues to work tirelessly toward the bigger strategic vision of Yeager Airport: to help West Virginia by becoming the most important economic engine for the State through advances in aviation and education. Whether that means giving you a first-class airport, bringing more aviation jobs to West Virginia, or investing in the future of air travel. The possibilities are endless in air travel, and Yeager Airport intends to be at the forefront of those possibilities.
It has been a long year and, somehow, it has also been a fast year. We are nearly one month into the 4th quarter of 2020, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Typically, the holiday season is a busy season for airports and airlines. While holiday travel will be down this year compared to years prior, it is not all bad news. Let’s put our glass half full glasses on and look at some positives for air travel this year.
International Air Transport Association Study
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released a study at the beginning of October saying one billion have flown so far in 2020. That report says, of those one billion people, there have only been forty-four suspected COVID transmission cases related to air travel.
How did the IATA get their numbers? Good question. The three main commercial aircraft manufacturers in the United States are Airbus, Boeing, and Embraer. The IATA analyzed aircraft manufacturer’s studies that looked at the risks of in-flight virus transmission. The study goes on to say its “outreach to airlines and public health authorities combined with a thorough review of available literature has not yielded any indication that onboard transmission is in any way common or widespread.”
The IATA also recognizes there is no way to establish an “exact tally” of positive cases connected to air travel. The numbers, though, are promising. After an extensive study, only 44 positive cases could be tied directly to air travel out of one billion passengers. This number begs one question, though, why? Why is the number so low?
Speaking about the IATA study, Delta CEO Ed Bastian said of the 44 cases that could be tracked to air travel. Many of those came before airlines implemented several safety protocols like mandatory face coverings. Dr. David Powell, a medical advisor for the IATA, agreed with that sentiment.
How does all of this relate to holiday travel? Bastian said holiday season travel forecasts look “encouraging.” The CEO went on to say confidence in air travel has increased steadily throughout the year.
We have been working diligently at CRW to make sure you feel comfortable flying. Many of the protocols we implemented in the early days of the pandemic are still in place. Here is how we have prepared to make your travel experience as safe as possible:
- Support services staff have a daily checklist for high touch areas that need extra attention.
- You will find reminders to socially distance throughout the airport.
- Staff temperatures are taken every day.
- Face covering’s are mandatory inside the terminal
- Airport vendors have installed acrylic shields to minimize contact between themselves and passengers.
If you are flying this holiday season, we are here to give you the safest experience possible. If you have any questions or concerns, you can always give us a call or reach out to us on our social media pages.
Information for this blog came from the IATA study, Newsweek, and an interview with Ed Bastian on CNBC.
When you think of Yeager Airport, we hope one thing comes to mind – convenience. We are always looking for ways to make your trip as smooth as possible. We believe our newest upgrade is going to do just that.
Earlier this month, we put in a new parking system. The new system allows you to get in and out of the parking garage in a much more modern way. Let’s breakdown what’s new with this parking system, and why it will give you one less thing to worry about during your trip.
HOW IT WORKS: When you pull up to the parking gate outside the garage, the kiosk will show you how much parking costs based on how long you are there. Hit the “Print Ticket” button, and a ticket will print out with QR code.
WHAT IS A QR CODE: QR stands for Quick Response Code. Your smartphone camera is easily able to read the code printed on the ticket. One thing we would like to point out with these new tickets, do not leave them on your dashboard. The sun can make the ticket fade. If your ticket does fade, your camera might have a hard time reading the QR code.
HOW TO PAY: This is where the convenience aspect kicks in. After your ticket prints out, you can scan your QR code on your phone and save your ticket there. When you get back from your trip, there is a kiosk in the baggage claim to pay your ticket. Pull up the ticket on your phone, scan it, and pay with card or cash. You can also do the same thing at the gates when you are leaving the parking garage. Technology not your thing? No worries. Keep your ticket with you, and you can scan it at the kiosk in the baggage claim or at the gates when you’re leaving the parking garage.
WHAT IS THE PRICE:
- Up to 1 hour – Free
- Up to 2 hours- $5.00
- Up to 6 hours – $6.00
- Up to 10 hours – $7.00
- Daily Max – $10.00
- Lost Ticket – $11.00
We hope this new system makes your travel easier and stay tuned for more updates including the option of paying your ticket on your phone. Thank you for Flying C-R-W!
The pandemic hasn’t slowed construction projects at CRW.
Several different projects are happening, both on the airfield and inside the terminal. Our passenger numbers are going up, flights are returning, and the military is increasing their activity at CRW. Despite some changes around Yeager Airport due to COVID-19, there are still plenty of exciting things happening. Let’s takeoff around CRW and see what is happening.
Runway Safety Area Project – This project has been years in the making. The final result will be a 7,000-foot runway with standard 1,000-foot safety areas on each end. The first phase of the project, which is an environmental assessment, is close to getting started. Airport administrators have been talking with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and those talks have gone well.
Post-Security Restaurant/Bar – If you have been to the airport recently, you have no doubt seen the giant white wall where the gift shop and bar used to be. Some exciting things are happening behind those walls. When construction is complete next month, we will have a completely new café and bar. The gift shop will also have a new look.
Runway Rehabilitation – Every 10-15 years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires airports to rehab runways. Work is already underway on Runway 5/23. Right now, crews are cutting sections of the runway that need repaving. The next phase is milling and paving of the runway. This process is similar to what you see during repaving on the interstate. This project is going to take a least one year, and the runway will be shut down nightly, with the exceptions of emergency landings and helicopters.
Marshall School of Aviation – Construction on the Marshall University School of Aviation will begin soon. Marshall University will have several facilities near Capital Jet Center, including classroom hangar space and FAA-required laboratories and computer facilities. The flight school will offer a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Sciences and an Associate of Applied Science in Aviation Maintenance.
It is an exciting time at Yeager Airport. There are even more construction projects in the works, including the pre-security restaurant, and we will talk more about those when they are closer to getting started. We love seeing more of you taking off from CRW. We are doing everything we can to make you feel comfortable. We will see you soon!
In the COVID-19 world we are all living in, the information does not change day-to-day, it changes hour-by-hour. With the sheer amount of new information, how do you know when it is the right time for you to start traveling again? The short answer is, it is entirely up to you and how comfortable you are with taking to the sky. If you are struggling with the decision, Yeager Airport is here to help! We are going to take our best shot at answering the question: “Is it Safe to Fly.” All of the information in this article comes from airline leaders, as well as frequent travelers.
So, is it safe to fly?
This is not a yes or no question. With all of the precautions and guidelines, airlines are taking, flying now is safer than you might think. Most commercial airplanes are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air, HEPA for short, filters. They are similar to the HEPA filters found in hospitals. These filters capture more than 99-percent of airborne bacteria, and continuously recirculate clean air throughout the cabin.
In a recent interview on the Masters of Scale podcast, Delta CEO Ed Bastian talked about an air study recently done by Delta.
“I tasked our team to measure the air quality onboard our flights, and we’ve been traveling with sensors on a number of flights and that they’ve found is indeed the quality of the air you breathe aboard our planes is somewhere between 7 to 10 times cleaners than a baseline measure of the grocery store you shopped in yesterday.”
Pre-COVID-19, commercial airplanes were wiped down and cleaned after most flights. However, during COVID-19, planes are cleaned and disinfected after each trip. Making the surfaces as clean as they have ever been. Most airlines are even spraying specialized disinfectants on seats, armrests, air controls, and seat belts.
Brian Kelly, CEO, and founder of The Points Guy, is an avid traveler. Kelly’s company is all about traveling smart. In a recent article, Kelly had the following to say about the cleanliness of the plane he was on.
“Normally planes get turned around for a new flight every hour, and most fights get a very quick cleaning. You can feel the slime on the plane. This was different, it felt and looked spick and span.”
Airlines are encouraging check-in at kiosks and are letting you scan your own boarding pass at the gate. Materials in the seatbacks have been removed, and most airlines are not filling their planes to capacity. Inflight service has also changed to limit contact with flight attendants.
Then there are masks. As far as airports go, most are following local and state guidelines. However, airlines are requiring all passengers to wear masks while on the aircraft. The only exceptions for masks requirements are young children and people with conditions that make breathing through a mask difficult.
In reality, the only person who knows if it is safe for you to fly is you. Airport and airlines across the country are working around the clock to keep you safe. At Yeager Airport, we clean and sanitize pretty much everything you see. We want you to feel comfortable at the airport, and the airlines want you to feel safe flying with them.