October 11, 2018

Manchin Announces More Than $4.9 Million For Airports In Parkersburg And Beckley

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced that the Raleigh County Memorial Airport (BKW) in Beckley and the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport (PKB) in Parkersburg will receive $4,962,541in funding through the Department of Transportation (DOT) Alternate Essential Air Service program (AEAS).  The two airports have formed a partnership to enter into a contract with Contour Airlines, which will serve both communities to the same hub, Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT).

“Our airports in West Virginia are an important source of economic activity in our state. Air travel is critical for economic growth and our state’s tourism industry. Ensuring that Beckley and Parkersburg have safe, reliable air service will open up the two cities and their surrounding regions to more visitors and new economic opportunities. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Transportation Subcommittee, I always have our West Virginia airports in mind and will continue to ensure they receive the funding they need to grow,” Senator Joe Manchin.

Glen Kelly, manager at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, “I look forward to working with Contour Airlines and bringing jet service to Parkersburg and the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport. We are very excited about Contour’s completion rate of over 98% and its on-time rate of 95% on its routes around the country. I believe this reliable service can bring back our business customers and serve our leisure travelers for years to come.”

Tom Cochrane, manager at the Raleigh County Memorial Airport, “This is a positive move in the right direction for Beckley and the Raleigh County Memorial Airport and we believe it will impact our community in a positive way.  We have never had jet service in Beckley, which should allow us to be more prepared to support the World Scout Jamboree next year and provide the region with a more dependable carrier moving forward.”

Senator Manchin recently voted for a five-year reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which included reauthorization of the Essential Air Service Program and the Small Community Air Service Development Program.  The EAS program serves over 170 small communities in the U.S, providing an essential connection to major airports and metropolitan areas throughout the country. Without this important program, communities like Beckley and Parkersburg would lose air service, as airlines would move to only serve more profitable markets, potentially reducing economic opportunities available to communities already struggling to stay connected to the national economy.