May 19, 2016

Manchin Authorizes Funding for Yeager Airport in Transportation and Housing Appropriations

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) today applauded the Senate passage of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, which provides funding for vital transportation and housing programs throughout the country. Specifically, Senator Manchin included an amendment that allows airports that are in need of critical infrastructure repairs like Yeager Airport in Charleston, WV.

"My amendment will give airports access to the funding they need to make necessary repairs,” Senator Manchin said. “Without any change to current law, places like Yeager find themselves empty handed when disaster strikes, ineligible for any of the federal programs designed to help make them whole again.”

The March 13th Yeager Airport landslide was a result of severe winter weather and caused the airport’s Engineered Materials Arresting System (EMAS) to collapse, pushing 800,000-CY of earth and debris toward a church and numerous private residences.  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.

Below is a list of additional provisions Senator Manchin included in the bill:

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment – This amendment will help get more Veterans back to work, by addressing understaffing issues within the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.

TIGER Grant Funding – This legislation provides $525 million in funding for “National Infrastructure Investments” also known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grants. Additionally, the bill requires 30 percent to go to rural areas.

Essential Air Service – The bill appropriates $150 million in funds for the Essential Air Service program that enables flights to reach small and rural airports throughout West Virginia.