April 2021

The project team has made great progress since our last update in early 2021 and we are approaching the finish line of the WV AEIS! We recently posted several project deliverables to the documents page, including Chapter 1. Introduction and Methodology and Chapter 2. The Data Collection Process, as well Appendix B. Case Studies and Appendix C. Economic Reliance of West Virginia Businesses on Aviation. We encourage you to check out these documents to learn more about the study’s methodology and data collection efforts, as well as learn firsthand about the incredibly important role aviation plays in the state, from supporting access to emergency health care, providing a pipeline of future aviation professionals, and supporting a variety of other industries across the great Mountain state.

The project team has also been working hard modeling the economic impact of aviation based on the data that was collected during the early stages of the project. An upcoming Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting is scheduled for late April 2021 and will give the project team an opportunity to share the final project findings with the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission (WVAC) and members of the PAC. The findings will be presented in Chapter 3. Economic Impact Findings, and once final, will be posted to the documents page. Please continue to check back often as we update the project website routinely with new information!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us here.

January 2021

A substantial amount of progress has been made on the WV AEIS as we start off the new year. Data collection efforts for tenants, aviation-reliant businesses, and out-of-state visitors using commercial service or general aviation (GA) officially closed on December 1st. The Project Team reviewed the information gathered from these efforts to remove “outlier” data and validate the accuracy of the information provided. Direct impacts at the airport level were assessed and confirmed in collaboration with the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission (WVAC).

To develop a collection of “real life stories” or case studies, the Project Team conducted interviews with a diverse group of individuals to highlight the integral roles aviation and West Virginia’s airport system serve in the state. These stories include perspectives from business owners, higher education staff, military members, aerospace companies, medevac operators, and more. These stories will be shared in the final report documentation to showcase the qualitative benefits alongside the quantitative impacts.

November 2020

Although COVID-19 has limited the ability to meet in person, this did not stop the Project Team from conducting the first of two Project Advisory Committee (PAC) meetings. The PAC meeting was held virtually on September 23rd and was attended by key aviation stakeholders, including Aeronautics Commission members, airport managers, the FAA, and representatives from various state offices and departments. During the meeting, the Project Team presented an overview of the WV AEIS, initial findings from data collection efforts, and future tasks including final deliverables. PAC members were engaged during the meeting through a series of questions, open-ended discussions, and requests to provide feedback on current tasks. Click here to view the PAC meeting presentation and meetings notes.

Despite initial project delays due to the pandemic, data collection tasks are beginning to wrap up. Through surveys and site visits, airport managers identified 140 on-airport tenants and over 250 aviation-reliant businesses across the state. from these survey responses will be used to model economic impacts at various levels.

While the tenant and business surveys have concluded, we are still collecting surveys from out-of-state visitors who visit West Virginia using commercial service or general aviation (GA) until December 2020. Out-of-state visitors generate new spending within the economy and capturing the economic impact of these activities is an important component of the WV AEIS. If you are an out-of-state visitor traveling to West Virginia, we kindly ask you or a member of your party to complete one of the surveys here. We greatly appreciate your participation!

July 2020

Airport Surveys

Despite a several month delay in the original data collection timeline due to COVID-19, the Project Team and WVAC are making great progress on the study. A webinar was recently hosted with all airport managers and their staff to introduce the study, prepare them for upcoming data collection efforts, and discuss the final deliverables they will receive at the end of the study. After the webinar, an individualized airport manager survey was sent to all airports which requested critical information that will be used to calculate components of each airport’s economic impact. The Project Team then hit the road to conduct site visits at all 24 airports included in the study, meeting with airport managers and tenants, taking precautions to protect the health and safety of all involved. The Team is now conducting follow up phone calls and emails to airport managers, tenants and reliant businesses to request participation in our data collection effort. If your business or organization relies on West Virginia’s airports, and you have not yet received a survey, please click here and complete the survey most appropriate to you. Your participation is vital to capturing an accurate picture of the scope of economic impact being generated by West Virginia’s airport system. Thank you!

May 2020

COVID-19 Update

The project team is excited to announce we are well underway on the 2020 WVAEIS! The beginning of the WVAEIS was marked with a kickoff meeting in January and the project team has since progressed on tasks in preparation for the next step of the project: data collection. Travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines in light of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are impacting the team’s ability to safely conduct site visits at West Virginia’s 24 system airports which is a vital component of data collection efforts. The project team’s top priority is to protect the safety and health of airport managers, staff, tenants, and other West Virginia aviation stakeholders during these unprecedented times and we will continue to assess the situation until it is deemed safe to begin conducting site visits.