CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Although the travel industry was slow during the peak of COVID-19, Yeager Airport still had a hefty financial impact across the state. The airport brought in millions of dollars and thousands of jobs the past few years.
Over the past five years, Yeager airport has brought in more than $225 million to the state and nearly 3,000 jobs. Every five years, the state looks at West Virginia’s 24 airports to gauge just what kind of financial impact they’re having on the state’s economy.
“Out of all 24 airports combined; they have a $1.6 billion economic impact across the state,” said Chris Williams, Public Affairs Manager for Yeager Airport.
Yeager alone brought in $225 million, and that’s not just from flights.
“Construction, people come here to visit, and they spend their dollars in tourism visiting all the places around West Virginia. There’s are a number of different ways we’re able to contribute,” Williams said.
In August 2021, The Bill Noe Flight School at Marshall University is set to open, which will be another source of income for the state.
“There is a pilot shortage right now across the country. So, it’s great to be able to attract students to the Charleston area to become pilots and to be able to put them into the workforce to sure up aviation,” Williams said.
Over the next few years, employees at Yeager say they’re going to continue to drive numbers up with new additions to the state.
“Everyone is starting to figure out that West Virginia is a beautiful place to come. We have a brand-new national park, and people have been coming here to see that. Tourism continues to grow, and that puts money back into the economy,” Williams said.
According to the study more than 87,000 visitors came to the state and spent more than $33 million while here.