(By Delegates Walters, Henderson, Harrison,

Seacrist, Hunt, Spencer, Rowe, Smith,
Webb, Capito, Miller and Amores)

Recognizing Yeager Airport as the West Virginia Airport of the Year 1998 and honoring its fiftieth anniversary.

Whereas, In 1937, larger passenger airplanes having been placed into service, Wertz Field then serving as the airport for Charleston, West Virginia, could not meet the demand for service; and
Whereas, A committee formed to find a site for a new airport surveyed all of the potential sites within a twenty-five mile radius of the capital city; and
Whereas, In 1938, after a year examining on foot, by car and topographical every possible site, the committee decided that we must build on the hilltops; and
Whereas, Charleston, West Virginia, lost its airport on May 12, 1942, when Wertz Field was closed by the government's erection of a synthetic rubber plant at the site; and
Whereas, In November, 1943, the citizens of Kanawha County overwhelmingly approved by a ratio of twenty-two to one a bond issue of $3,000,000.00 to build then Kanawha Airport; and
Whereas, In June, 1944, bonds were sold and bids were opened and the first stage contract was awarded; and
Whereas, On October 18, 1944, ground was broken for the construction of Kanawha Airport and work proceeded continuously thereafter; and
Whereas, On November 3, 1947, formal dedication ceremonies were held with President Truman sending his airplane, the "Independence" and the presidents of all the participating airlines were on hand and Kanawha Airport was presented ready to go, representing one of the most unusual construction jobs in aviation history; and
Whereas, In 1949, Kanawha Airport was awarded the Haire Trophy as the outstanding airport in the United States for the year 1948; and
Whereas, In 1951, the terminal building was completed and dedicated; and
Whereas, In 1968, the citizens of Kanawha County overwhelmingly chose to upgrade its Kanawha Airport to meet the needs of the coming commercial jetliners; and
Whereas, On October 14, 1985, the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority, after much support from the citizens of Kanawha County and West Virginia, unanimously agreed to rename the airport in honor of West Virginia's most distinguished hero, Brigadier General Charles E. Yeager; and
Whereas, In 1996, after experiencing declining air service for eight years, the Airport Authority and the Kanawha County Commission developed a program to return air service to the community equal to or better than in the years prior to deregulation of the airlines; and
Whereas, This program included a $4,000,000 renovation and expansion of the public use areas of the airport and implementation of a full scale marketing plan; and
Whereas, Within the first year, 1996, the passenger boardings increased by two percent which was the first increase in eight years; and
Whereas, Within the second year, 1997, the passenger boardings increased by twelve and one-half percent or a total of 28,000 over the previous year; and
Whereas, In 1997, two additional flights were added to the schedule, two airlines filed for slots to the Chicago O'Hare Airport three times daily from the Yeager Airport with regional jets, U.S. Airways announced the start of regional jet service direct to Philadelphia and Chicago; and
Whereas, The January, 1998, passenger boardings were nine percent higher than the January, 1997, boardings; and
Whereas, In February, 1998, ComAir Airlines announced the beginning of regional jet service to their hub in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Atlantic Coast Airlines announced the start of their ninth daily round trip flight to their hub in Atlanta, Georgia, bringing the total daily commercial flights at Yeager Airport to forty-two, an all-time high; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That Yeager Airport is hereby declared the West Virginia Airport of the Year 1998 and is hereby honored for its fiftieth anniversary; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the House of Delegates is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to Yeager Airport.