In addition to serving as transportation centers, the state’s 24 publicly owned airports also serve as business hubs that generate $1.6 billion in revenue annually while supporting nearly 11,000 jobs.
Those are among the findings of a new aviation economic impact study highlighted by Sean Hill, director of the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission, during a meeting of Yeager Airport’s governing board on Wednesday.
Hill praised the Charleston airport for “identifying innovative ways of diversifying revenue generation,” including the promotion of Yeager as a staging base for military training operations on a network of nearby inactive surface mines. Last year, 61 units from all service branches used Yeager as a staging base for multi-day training.
The study, commissioned by Hill’s agency, used data from 2019, so downturns in flight and business activity due to COVID-19 were not reflected.
In addition to being the airport handling the most commercial airline traffic in the state, Yeager creates the most jobs — 2,940 — according to the study.
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