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Yeager Airport, Charleston, West Virginia
The busiest airport in the great State of West Virginia is located less than five miles from the capital city of Charleston. Yeager Airport, formerly known as Kanawha Airport, is named for General Chuck Yeager, the military pilot who was the first person to break the sound barrier.
The airport had over 260,000 passengers during 2010, which was quite a large increase over the amount noted for 2009. While Charleston Yeager Airport does not usually command the same lower prices found at major hubs, it is a short drive for many potential passengers who live in central West Virginia.
Airlines at Yeager Airport
Currently, travelers can embark from Charleston on flights to ten major cities in the eastern half of the United States. The major legacy carriers all have a presence at Yeager, also known by its FAA identifier of CRW. Delta Airlines has the most seats out of Charleston (350) with daily flights to Detroit (DTW) and Atlanta (ATL).
US Airways services flights to Washington Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Charlotte's Douglas Airport (CLT). United Airlines serves the most destinations out of CRW, with daily flights to Washington Dulles International, Chicago's O'Hare, and Houston's Bush Intercontinental Airport. American Airlines recently came to Charleston to give passengers a direct route to the New York market with flights to LaGuardia.
In addition to the major airlines flying out of CRW, there were also two discount carriers that began to utilize the airport in the past few years. AirTran recently dropped its service to the Orlando area. Spirit Airways continues a seasonal service to one of the most popular vacation spots for West Virginians, Myrtle Beach.
Yeager Airport Runway
For most of its existence, Yeager Airport had two operational runways. In 2008, the board of directors voted to close one of the runways, leaving one that is designated as runway 5/23. The main runway measures just over 6,800 feet. Although it could and did handle large jets before deregulation, Yeager carriers only use smaller regional jets because of the lower passenger count flying out of the airport.
CRW has a main terminal building that has three concourses with 14 gates that could be used on a daily basis. Delta Airlines uses Concourse A, Spirit Airlines and United Express use Concourse B, and US Airways and American use the gates in Concourse C.
There is ample parking available at Charleston Yeager Airport, and a number of rental companies offer vehicles for arrivals. A 20-minute parking lot is free. Parking in the covered garage is available for a daily charge of $7.00. Short-term parking is metered at $0.25 per 15 minutes (the first 15 minutes is free), with a maximum daily charge of $8.00.
Most passengers flying out of CRW will want to take Interstate 64/77 to the Greenbrier Street exit that is also the exit for the state capitol complex. From the exit, travelers will want to travel north on Greenbrier Street and go about three miles while following signs to the airport.
Yeager Airport Location
One of the most unusual aspects of Yeager Airport is its location. The airport is located on top of a flattened mountain that is just 300 feet above the valley floor. Planes that leave the airport frequently have a great aerial view of the city of Charleston and the gilded dome of the state capitol building.