6:00: Morning News

Yeager sees spike in travel, 75th anniversary events kick off this Memorial Day weekend

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — First time flyer Gianni Shortt, of St. Albans, says he’s heading to Florida to be with his family this Memorial Day weekend.

“This is my first time flying. My dad has flown before and my brother and sister have, but I have never flown,” he said.

Shortt, 14, told MetroNews it hasn’t been an easy journey so far. He and his dad were scheduled to catch a flight out of West Virginia International Yeager Airport (CRW) to Washington Dullus International Airport Friday morning, but they were by about six hours.

“My dad got me a window seat. I was excited, but we got delayed a lot,” Shortt said.

More than 700 flyers passed through the TSA checkpoint Thursday, the busiest travel day of the week, according to airport spokesperson Rachel Urbanski.

The start of the holiday weekend comes as the same time the airport kicks off events to celebrated their 75th anniversary of commercial flights.

“We have historical aircraft. It’ll be a B-17 Yankee Lady coming in today and tomorrow. We also have some other dates schedule in June, July, August and October,” she said.

Many flyers were delayed Friday due to storms in the Washington, D.C. area where most had connecting flights. William Bailey is originally from Poca and said he was trying to get to his new home in Maine.

“Found out they got tornado warnings there,” Bailey said. “All D.C. flights are canceled for the best because of safety and so now I’m trying to find a flight to get back to Maine.”

Travel is expected to be busy throughout the weekend with a lot of return flights on Monday.

Urbanski said a lot of people depend on the airport to get to where they need to be. Over the years, they’ve opened a U.S. Customs facility to increase international travel.

“We’ve become more attractive to international business and helping with that local economic impact as well,” Urbanski said.

She also noted a lot has changed in the last 75 years, including a name change and full re-brand.

“We’re really proud just how far we’ve come, but we’re really proud that we’ve maintained our roots while also being steadfast in our journey for the future of aviation,” she said.

The airport has several planned events to mark the milestone anniversary, including hosting a Business After Hours in the Bill Noe Flight School’s hangar in June. There will be historic aircraft visits at the outdoor viewing area or playground located off Eagle Mountain Road.

Below are the list of events planned this year:

• May 28 – 29 Memorial Day Weekend: B-17 Yankee Lady
• June 18-19: C-47 Hairless Joe
• July 2-4: DC-3 Flagship Detroit
• July 2: Marshall’s Bill Noe Flight school open house
• August 13-14: B-25 Rosie’s Ripley
• October 25-30: CAF Red Tail Exhibit





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