Aerial view of Yeager Airport, 2009
|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 hosts McLaughlin 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.
Federal Aviation Administration records show 225,150 passenger enplanements in calendar year 2015, a decrease of 6.8% from the 241,566 enplanements in 2014. It is included in the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a non-hub primary commercial service facility.
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 act as an equivalent to a 1,000 ft. runway safety area, as required by the FAA. 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.
For the 12 month period ending September 30, 2016 the airport had 44,262 aircraft operations, an average of 121 per day: 42% general aviation, 38% air taxi, 17% military, and 4% scheduled commercial. In May 2017 72 aircraft were based at this airport: 37 single-engine, 10 multi-engine, 7 jet, 10 helicopter, and 8 military.
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.
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 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 March 13, 2015, a landslide below the approach to Runway 5/23 caused damage to an overrun area, although operations at the airport were largely unaffected by the damage.
On May 5, 2017, an Air Cargo Carriers Short 330, subcontracted by UPS and operating as Air Cargo Carriers Flight 1260, crashed after suffering a hard landing at Yeager Airport. Both captain and first officer were killed in the accident. Early reports state that the left wing made contact with the surface of Runway 5, separated from the fuselage, and the aircraft cartwheeled left off the runway and down a heavily wooded hillside. The National Transportation Safety Board along with local authorities are currently investigating the accident. 
Yeager Airport has three concourses.
- Concourse A has 7 gates and is used by Delta Air Lines and United Airlines.. It is accessed via a stairwell and elevator to the left of Concourse B.
- Concourse B
- Concourse B has 2 gates and is used by Delta Air Lines and Spirit Airlines. It contains the airport gift shop, a shoe shine service, and the Kanawha Cafe restaurant.. The TSA checkpoint empties into Concourse B, and all passengers must exit the secure area through Concourse B.
- Concourse C
- Concourse C has 5 gates and is used for American Airlines flights. It is the newest concourse and opened in 2001.. It is accessed via a stairwell and elevator to the right of Concourse B.
Airlines and destinations
The following airlines offer scheduled passenger service:
|American Eagle||Charlotte, Philadelphia, Washington–National|||
|Delta Air Lines||Atlanta|||
|Spirit Airlines||Seasonal: Myrtle Beach|||
|United Express||Chicago–O'Hare, Houston–Intercontinental, Washington–Dulles|||
|Carrier||Passengers (arriving and departing)|
|8||Myrtle Beach, SC||MYR||3,750||Spirit|
|9||Fort Lauderdale, FL||FLL||1,130||Spirit|
- FAA Airport Master Record for CRW ( PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. effective May 25, 2017.
- "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. External link in
- "List of NPIAS Airports" (PDF). FAA.gov. Federal Aviation Administration. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 6 May 2017.
- Engineering News-Record. McGraw Hill. 147: 88. 1951. Missing or empty
- "Charleston: Transportation".
- 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.
- "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.
- Tan, Avianne (13 March 2015). "Home> U.S. West Virginia Landslide Swallows House, Forces Residents to Evacuate". ABC News. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
- "Flight schedules and notifications". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "FLIGHT SCHEDULES". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- "Where We Fly". Retrieved 29 January 2017.
- "Timetable". Retrieved 7 January 2017.
- Cite error: The named reference
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- "Yeager Airport (CRW)". Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA), U.S. Department of Transportation. November 2016.
- 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 September 14, 2017
- FAA Terminal Procedures for CRW, effective September 14, 2017
- Resources for this airport: