CHARLESTON, WV (May 31, 2022) — West Virginia International Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV is pleased to announce it is supporting the 2022 Special Olympics Airlift by hosting a departure point for the event on Saturday, June 4 and supporting return flights on Sunday, June 12.
The Airlift is a signature community event organized and coordinated by Textron Aviation, a Textron Inc. (NYSE:TXT) company, with assistance from Cessna, Beechcraft and Hawker owners and operators, industry champions and employee volunteers. Each participating aircraft receives a special Dove call sign that will afford priority treatment in the National Airspace System so the massive Airlift stays on schedule on both transport days – Saturday, June 4, delivering the athletes to Orlando where they will compete in the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort and Sunday, June 12, returning the athletes to their home bases.
Capital Jet Center (CJC) will provide ground handling and flight support services for 5 flights carrying 31 passengers at CJC on Saturday, June 4. The return flights are scheduled for Sunday, June 12, where once again CRW will assist Textron Aviation and the athletes.
“This is a rewarding opportunity for CRW. We value this incredible experience to work with Textron Aviation to help facilitate a once-in-a-lifetime aviation experience for the athletes,” said Airport Director and CEO Nick Keller. “We are looking forward to making this sendoff one the athletes will not forget.”
This is the eighth Special Olympics Airlift by Textron Aviation, and the Airport’s first time participating in the Special Olympics Airlift. Since the first Airlift in 1987, nearly 10,000 athletes and coaches from across the United States have been transported to Special Olympics World Games and USA Games.
“Travel is the largest expense for Special Olympics programs, and we are able to help these deserving athletes compete at the highest level thanks to our generous customers who donate the use of their aircraft, pilots and fuel,” said Ron Draper, president and CEO, Textron Aviation. “Not only does the Airlift help offset costs, flying on a business aircraft allows the athletes —many of whom have never flown — to travel to the games hassle-free with their gear and teammates. It’s a memorable and meaningful experience for everyone involved.”
A Cessna Citation, Beechcraft King Air, Beechcraft Premier, Beechjet or Hawker aircraft will land at Orlando Executive Airport every two to three minutes to transport nearly 1,000 athletes and coaches from more than 30 departure locations across the United States.
Find more information about the Special Olympics Airlift at txtav.com/airlift.