CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – After SkyWest announced that it would discontinue serving several West Virginia airports, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced that it will temporarily put a hold on the termination of those flights.
According to a release from Senator Manchin, last week, Manchin wrote a letter to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg about the removal of SkyWest’s Essential Air Service (EAS) from North Central West Virginia Airport in Clarksburg (CKB) and Greenbrier Valley Airport in Lewisburg (LWB).
The release says that Senator Manchin urged Secretary Buttigieg to place a hold on the termination of air services at the two airports to protect local economies and transportation options in Clarksburg and Lewisburg.
Since Manchin’s letter, DOT announced a hold on the termination of these air services and issued a request for proposals for replacement services. This means that the essential flights from Clarksburg to Washington D.C. and Chicago will not be paused or removed, and SkyWest will continue to be offered at these airlines until a replacement airline is found. The original documentation allowed CKB and LWB airports only 90 days to find a replacement airline before the flights would no longer be offered.
“Air service is absolutely critical for West Virginia, connecting our communities to the rest of the country, helping businesses export their products, and increasing tourism to our great state,” said Senator Manchin in his letter to Secretary Buttigieg. “I am requesting the DOT work to preserve the air service we have until another provider can be found. For years, I have continually fought for Essential Air Service program funding which provides quality, reliable air travel, increased visitors and new economic opportunities to the Mountain State.
“Losing this essential service could cause irreparable harm to our communities in the state, which has been investing considerably in economic development and tourism. CKB has an annual economic impact of $1.1 billion, and future development is estimated to double the economic impact and create more than 1,000 jobs…LWB has a total economic impact of $91 million, and it serves as the gateway the Greenbrier Hotel, one of West Virginia’s most famous landmarks, as well as the Monongahela National Forest and the New River Gorge National Park & Preserve – our nation’s newest National Park,” Senator Manchin continued.
To read Manchin’s letter to Secretary Buttigieg in full, click here.