CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Yeager Airport is another step closer to resolving issues tied to the 2015 hillside collapse.
The airport’s Resolution Committee officially approved a partial settlement Monday with Triad Engineering — one of the companies responsible for the collapse — for $900,000. Yeager entered into the agreement in July.
Yeager has been tied up in litigation against a number of defendants, including Triad, in connection with the construction of the airport’s EMAS system on the runway extension. The system collapsed on March 12, 2015.
Since then, the airport has struggled to come up with enough money to pay for a temporary slope repair. On Monday, Yeager officials accepted a $13.5 million grant from the Federal Aviation Administration to be put toward the first phase of construction.
“Everyone at the airport — Director (Terry) Sayre and Assistant Director Nick Keller have been working towards getting a plan in place to rebuild and restore all those safety features at the airport so that we’re not operating on restrictions, so this is big for that,” said Yeager Director of Marketing Dominique Ranieri. “Any forward motion gets us back to where we were before.”
The long term goal is to extend the other end of the airport’s runway into Charleston’s Coonskin Park.
Of the $900,000 settlement, the airport will only get about $180,000. A majority of the settlement money will be used for attorney fees, Ranieri said.
“The original contract with those attorneys was for 35 percent of the recovery and yesterday they volunteered to waive five percent of that so they recovered 30 percent, which would be about $270,000,” Ranieri said.
The trial for for those impacted by the slope failure is unknown at this point. Ranieri said the trial for parties responsible for the collapse won’t be scheduled until next year at the earliest.
Yeager officials hope to resolve the issue by 2019.