WILLIAMSON, W.Va. -- The Mingo County Airport Authority is celebrating the opening of a 5,000-foot runway and its new Air Transportation Park on a reclaimed mine site near Varney.
The air park stems from a public-private partnership with the authority, Mingo County Redevelopment Authority, Federal Aviation Administration, state Department of Transportation and Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources.
Alpha spent about $1 million constructing the 975-acre site to FAA standards under its post-mine reclamation plan. It gave the land to the county in 2008.
Since then, some $6 million has been spent on runway, taxiway and apron facilities, plus lighting and fencing.
Officials say it gives private, corporate and industrial aircraft customers a safer, more efficient way to operate.
The air park is near Mingo Central High School, also built on a reclaimed surface mine.