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