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.
A year ago, many of us weren’t traveling for Thanksgiving. COVID-19 cases were still rising, and the vaccine was not available yet. Nevertheless, the travel and leisure industry is still bouncing back, and AAA reports the rebound in air travel alone will be even more significant, up to 80% over 2020.
This year for Thanksgiving, more people are traveling, and if you’re flying, you can expect crowded planes and higher ticket prices. The days of traveling on near-empty planes are gone. As of last week, Thanksgiving flight bookings are 78% higher than last year and 3.2% higher than in 2019.
AAA is predicting that 53 million people will travel by either air, road, or rails this Thanksgiving. In addition, AAA expects the travel volume to rise within 5% of 2019 levels.
Thanksgiving travel kicked off Monday, November 15, and runs through Monday, November 30. The Saturday and Sunday after the Thanksgiving holiday are typically the busiest travel days.
If you are traveling soon, you can do a few things to ensure a smooth trip.
TSA is urging anyone flying to enroll in PreCheck. Not only does it get you through the checkpoint faster, but it also eliminates the need for a bin (in most cases) and decreases the amount of contact you have with TSA agents. Enrolling in PreCheck is fairly easy, but it does take a few weeks.
Enrolling is a two-step process. First, you can start the application online by scheduling an appointment at an enrollment center. The appointment takes about 10 minutes. Next, your fingerprints are taken for a background check, and you have to pay $85 for a 5-year membership. Once approved, the renewal process is done online.
RESEARCH YOUR DESTINATION AND AIRLINE
COVID regulations vary by state. Before taking off, make sure you have everything you need to comply with your final destination. At CRW, masks are still mandatory inside the terminal, and all of the airlines at CRW require masks while onboard their aircraft. Keep in mind – you are also going through more than one airport while traveling. Checking those airports’ websites is a good idea to ensure you do not run into any surprises while traveling.
FLYING WITH FOOD
Are you the chef in the family? Don’t trust Cousin Eddie to deep fry the turkey? Fair enough. If you are packing up the goods for the big dinner, TSA has compiled a list of what food items can stay in your carry-on and what needs to be in your checked baggage. The simple rule TSA follows: if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it, or pour it, pack it in a checked bag.Here is the complete list.
THE USUAL TIPS
During this period, guests choosing to travel will see many of the enhanced health, safety, and sanitation efforts that CRW began rolling out at the beginning of the pandemic. Those measures include:
- Hand sanitizing stations
- Acrylic barriers at high touch areas
- New cleaning technology and frequency of cleaning
- Social distancing markers
To ensure a healthy travel experience, CRW asks all guests to do their part by:
- Wearing a face mask properly at all times
- Washing hands frequently and using hand sanitizer
- Maintain social distancing as much as possible
- Use touchless options and mobile boarding passes
- Allow ample time at the airport to help avoid crowds
- Check with your airline for additional guidelines.
The CDC is still recommending that if you aren’t fully vaccinated, you delay travel.
As of November 8, 2021, The White House announced that vaccines would be required for international travelers coming into the United States.
As you start to return to the skies this holiday season, we hope you know that we’re doing everything we can to keep you and your family safe and healthy. For those that are not quite ready to return yet, your friends at CRW will be here when you’re ready. Happy Holidays!
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.
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.