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General aviation expansion planned at Yeager

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An eight-space T-hangar and two corporate aircraft hangars are being planned by Executive Air, the operator of Yeager Airport's general aviation facility.

With more than 35 private aircraft now based at the Charleston airport, "we're completely full," Executive Air President Scott Miller told members of the Charleston airport's governing board Wednesday. "If we can get these hangars built, they will fill up quickly."

Miller said one company based at Executive Air needs hangar space for two additional airplanes and one helicopter, while a second company has expressed an interest in hangar space for one, and possibly two, corporate jets.

 Miller's appearance before the airport board involved an informal outline of his plans for adding hangar space. Detailed plans and a formal request for approval will come later. "We'd like to be able to build by next spring," he said.

If the plans are approved, Executive Air would pay for the construction of the hangars and Yeager Airport would negotiate new lease terms with the company.

Miller said his construction plans for the new hangars would be in keeping with the airport's long-term general aviation plan, completed three years ago.

Last month, work was completed on a $700,000 renovation project at Executive Air's general aviation terminal.

Miller credited then-Gov. Joe Manchin's 2008 push to eliminate property taxes on corporate aircraft, and a recent uptick in business at the airport, with the demand for more hangar and tie-down space at Executive Air.

In other airport news, the Federal Aviation Administration has ordered Yeager to rebid its obstruction removal project adjacent to the Northgate Business Park. Airport Director Rick Atkinson said some contractors had submitted bids before optional earth-moving disposal sites were identified and considered by other bidders. The FAA wanted to ensure that all bidders were able to take all disposal options into consideration when calculating their bids, Atkinson said.

Atkinson said the project should be rebid by late January. A separate contract will be let for clearing and grubbing the site, to allow site preparation work to begin during the winter, followed by earth-moving work in the spring.

Assistant Airport Director Terry Sayre said having Yeager's maintenance staff complete crack sealing work on the runway and joint sealing work in the parking garage saved the airport more than $275,00 over the cost of having the work bid out to private contractors.

Reach Rick Steelhammer at rsteelhammer@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5169.


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