September 06, 2017

Manchin and Capito Announce More Than $13 Million in Funding to Fix Yeager Runway

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) today announced a total of $13,492,653 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. The funding will be used to repair the 5-end runway where the Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) structure collapsed in 2015.

“Since 2015, I have fought to secure the funding that Yeager Airport needs to finally begin repairing the runway that collapsed in a landslide,” Senator Manchin said. “As a pilot myself, I understand how crucial it is for us to maintain our airport infrastructure, especially in our capital city. Yeager Airport serves an important role in West Virginia, helping our businesses export their products, tourists travel to our great state and introducing who we are to the world. I am glad this funding will help the airport repair its runway so it can further strengthen its infrastructure and continue to support economic growth in West Virginia.”

“As our state’s largest airport, Yeager plays a key role in the economy and is relied on by thousands of travelers each year. Since the 2015 landslide, I’ve been leading efforts in the Senate to secure funding for these repairs through my role on the Appropriations Committee. This funding is sure to benefit West Virginians in the near term and for years to come, and I’m pleased to help announce it today,” Senator Capito said.

The March 13th, 2015 Yeager Airport landslide was a result of severe winter weather and caused the airport’s EMAS to collapse, moving 800,000-CY of earth and debris. Utility electric, fiber optics, water, and sewer services were in the path of the landslide and were eventually disrupted.  After several days, the earth and debris that moved downhill from the reinforced soil fill and EMAS site finally rested on the road below.

Since then, Senator Manchin has worked closely with the FAA, Yeager officials, and members of the Congressional delegation on securing this installment of funding to begin repairs to the runway. As a member of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Manchin successfully included language in the 2017 Omnibus that made the airport eligible for payments from the FAA to pay for the runway rebuild. The day following this change in law, Senator Manchin hosted FAA officials in his office for a meeting to discuss the urgency and importance of funding this project. In July, Senator Manchin spoke to Acting FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, and met again with FAA officials to push for finalizing a solution that invests in West Virginia infrastructure and positioning the airport for continued success. Senator Manchin is very appreciative of the hard work from those involved at the FAA during this project, who truly demonstrated a dedication to providing the safest, most efficient aerospace system in the world.