Business View Magazine | March 2021

59 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE MARCH 2021 YEAGER A I RPORT of 16 commercial flights a day, they were seeing two. Many of the projects they had intended, like a $5 million terminal refurbishment, were put on hold. It seemed like tough times ahead but the skies eventually brightened. “If you showed up at the airport today, you would see a lot of construction going on,” says Keller. “What you see is that we are still progressing – still building up our infrastructure for the future, and we are doing that by recognizing the need to diversify.” Take for example the two major projects that came out of 2020, one of which was an alliance with the military to create the “Home Base Program” and the other is the launching of a new flight school in partnership with Marshall University. Keller explains, “Our fixed-base operator Capital Jet Center had a contract for military fueling, and that actually increased over 2020. So we’ve created a program, which is a marketing tool to target military use of Yeager Airport as the home base of operations for training. The Army, Navy, and Marines are all using this area for training; we have abandoned coal mines that make good training grounds nearby and it is working out well.” The Home Base Program – a partnership between Yeager Airport, the West Virginia National Guard, and the Kanawha County Commission – is designed to increase military training in the Mountain State and it’s had a great financial impact on the region. The 61 military units that came to the airport in 2020 had a $2.1 million impact on Kanawha County with each unit spending nearly $7,000 while in Charleston, not including fuel sales. The largest unit that came through the airport was the United States Navy, which had three separate units of 100 sailors each in the city for two