Aerial view of Yeager Airport, 2009
|IATA: CRW – ICAO: KCRW – FAA LID: CRW|
|Owner/Operator||Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority|
|Serves||Charleston, West Virginia|
|Location||Kanawha County, West Virginia|
|Elevation AMSL||947 ft / 289 m|
Yeager Airport (IATA: CRW, ICAO: KCRW, FAA LID: CRW) is a public airport three miles (6 km) east of downtown Charleston, in Kanawha County, West Virginia, United States. It is owned by the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority. The airport is co-located with Charleston Air National Guard Base, home to nine C-130 Hercules aircraft of the West Virginia Air National Guard's 130th Airlift Wing (130 AW), an Air Mobility Command (AMC)-gained unit of the West Virginia Air National Guard.
The airport sits on a hilltop over 300 feet (about 100 m) above the valleys of the Elk and Kanawha Rivers, and the hill drops off sharply on all sides. Arriving passengers enjoy a view of downtown Charleston or the rolling hills north and east of the field. In March 2015 a landslide caused part of this hill to slip into the valley below. The area of the slide was part of an engineered fill of 1.5 million cubic yards of dirt, created in 2007. The slide destroyed part of the emergency overrun at the end of the runway, a few buildings, and covered a section of Keystone Drive. The runway was not affected. It also temporarily dammed Elk Twomile creek, causing water levels to rise until a new channel was cleared.
Federal Aviation Administration records show 264,818 passenger enplanements in calendar year 2010, an increase of 11.2% from the 238,190 enplanements in 2009. This airport is included in the FAA's National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015, which categorized it as a primary commercial service airport (more than 10,000 enplanements per year).
During World War II Charleston's airport, Wertz Field, closed when the airport's approaches were blocked by the federal government building a synthetic rubber plant next to the airport. There were already plans for a new Charleston airport.
The city started construction in 1944; the airport opened in 1947 as Kanawha Airport and American Airlines flights started in December. A terminal was built in 1950, designed by Tucker & Silling. The airport got its current name in 1985, honoring then-Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, a native of nearby Lincoln County who piloted the world's first supersonic flight in the Bell X-1. In 1986 the terminal was renovated. Concourse C, designed by L. Robert Kimball and Associates and costing $2.8 million, was completed in 2001.
On February 27, 2008 Yeager's Governing Board voted to close the secondary runway, Rwy 15/33, to allow construction of two new hangars and ramp space for four more C-130s to be based at the Air National Guard facility. It will allow the airport to triple the general aviation area's hangar space and create room for off-runway businesses, and provide parking for up to ten additional commercial airliners. Five million dollars were given to the airport to build a canopy around the front of the terminal. An additional two million dollars was given for a covered walk-way from the terminal to the parking garage.
On June 25, 2009 AirTran Airways began service from Charleston to Orlando. AirTran was the first low cost airline at Yeager Airport since Independence Air left years before. AirTran used the Boeing 717-200 until June 3, 2012, when AirTran's last flight departed from Yeager Airport.
On March 3, 2011 Spirit Airlines began flights to Fort Lauderdale and on May 5, 2011, Spirit started seasonal flights between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. On June 10, 2012 Spirit ended service to Fort Lauderdale, leaving seasonal service to Myrtle Beach.
People Express Airlines had plans to begin service to Orlando International Airport, offering a similar schedule to AirTran's former operations at Yeager Airport, but filed for bankruptcy before ever flying one flight from the airport.
On March 13, 2015 a landslide on the approach to Runway 5/23 caused damage to an overrun area, although operations at the airport were unaffected by the damage.
Facilities and aircraft
Runway 5/23's heading is 235°. An Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) was built at the end of Runway 5 to prevent aircraft going over the hillside. Yeager's secondary runway 15/33, now taxiway C, was headed 335° and was 4,750 feet (1,450 m) long. It was mostly used by general aviation.
In 2010 the airport had 102,223 aircraft operations, an average of 280 per day: 47% scheduled commercial, 26% air taxi, 24% general aviation, 3% military. 104 aircraft were then based at this airport: 52% single-engine, 31% multi-engine, 3% jet, 5% helicopter, and 10% military.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:
|American Eagle||Dallas/Fort Worth (ends June 3, 2015)||C|
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta||B|
|Spirit Airlines||Seasonal: Myrtle Beach||B|
|United Express||Chicago-O'Hare, Houston-Intercontinental, Washington-Dulles||A|
|US Airways Express||Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington-National||C|
Accidents and incidents
On August 10, 1968, Piedmont Airlines Flight 230 was on an ILS localizer-only approach to runway 23 when it struck trees 360 feet from the runway threshold. The aircraft continued and struck up-sloping terrain short of the runway in a nose down attitude. The aircraft continued up the hill and onto the airport, coming to rest 6 feet beyond the threshold and 50 feet from the right edge of the runway. A layer of dense fog was obscuring the runway threshold and about half of the approach lights. Visual conditions existed outside the fog area. All three crew members and thirty-two of the thirty-four passengers perished. The National Transportation Safety Board blamed the accident on an "unrecognized loss of altitude orientation during the final portion of an approach into shallow, dense fog." The disorientation was caused by a rapid reduction in the ground guidance segment available to the pilot at a point beyond which a go-around could be successfully effected.
On January 10, 2009 Colgan Air flight 6880 on behalf of United Airlines reported a hydraulics leak. The pilot was able to pump down the left wing gear. 13 passengers, and 3 crew were on the aircraft, no one was hurt. The aircraft landed safely on runway 23.
On July 13, 2009 Southwest Airlines Flight 2294 from Nashville International Airport to Baltimore-Washington International Airport was forced to divert to Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia after a hole formed on the top of the plane's fuselage near the tail resulting in depressurization of the cabin and deployment of the oxygen masks. The 133 passengers and crew landed safely.
On January 19, 2010 PSA Airlines Canadair CRJ-200 N246PS on flight 2495 to Charlotte, North Carolina on behalf of US Airways with 30 passengers and 3 crew, overran the runway following a rejected take-off at 16:13 local time (21:13 UTC). The aircraft was stopped by the EMAS at the end of the runway, sustaining substantial damage to its undercarriage.
On February 8, 2010, a Freedom Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 on flight 6121 to Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport on behalf of Delta Air Lines with 46 passengers and 3 crew, rejected takeoff from Charleston at high speed and came to a safe stop about 400 feet (122 meters) short of the runway end. Both right main gear tires exploded and the fragments damaged the flaps.
On July 28, 2010 a United Airlines Boeing 757 from Washington Dulles to San Diego was forced to divert to Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia after smoke was detected in a restroom. None of the 178 passengers and crew members aboard was injured.
- FAA Airport Master Record for CRW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective August 25, 2011.
- "Primary, Non-primary Commercial Service, and General Aviation Airports (by State)" (PDF, 189 KB). CY 2010 Passenger Boarding and All-Cargo Data. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2011.
- "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010.
- Engineering News-Record (McGraw Hill) 147: 88. 1951. Missing or empty
- Charleston: Transportation - Approaching the City
- Yeager Airport Opens Concourse C to Traffic
- "Yeager Runway to Close to Make Room for Hangars". Charleston Daily Mail. February 28, 2008. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- Tan, Avianne (13 March 2015). "Home> U.S. West Virginia Landslide Swallows House, Forces Residents to Evacuate". ABC News. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "Jet makes landing with football-sized hole". CNN. July 14, 2009. Retrieved January 23, 2010.
- "Accident: PSA Airlines CRJ2 at Charleston on Jan 19th 2010, overran runway on takeoff". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved January 20, 2010.
- "Accident: Freedom Airlines E145 at Charleston on Feb 8th 2010, rejected takeoff". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved February 9, 2010.
- "Accident: Smoke forces Calif.-bound 757 to land at Yeager". The Charleston Gazette. Retrieved July 28, 2010.
- Yeager Airport, official web site
- Charleston/Yeager Airport from 2007 West Virginia DOT Airport Directory
- Aerial image as of April 11, 1996 from USGS The National Map
- (PDF), effective May 28, 2015
- FAA Terminal Procedures for CRW, effective May 28, 2015
- Resources for this airport: