The process has begun for the closing of the Mingo County Airport located on a mountaintop above the city of Williamson.
The Mingo County Airport Authority (MCAA) met in a special meeting on Friday to discuss the closure. They picked May 31, 2019, for the closing date of the old airport.
The airport opened in the late 1960s. A new regional airport has been built, but some infrastructure is still not in place for that facility.
The new Mingo County Appalachian Regional Airport, located near Varney, West Virginia, boasts a brand new, state-of-the-art 5,000-foot runway and taxiway, complete with lighting, fencing and wind instrumentation.
This FAA-approved facility was constructed as a post-mine land use project with Alpha Natural Resources, the Mingo County Airport Authority and the West Virginia Aeronautics Commission. Once its surface mining operation was complete and the airport facility was constructed to rough grade, Alpha Natural Resources donated the 900-acre site to Mingo County, at no cost to the taxpayers, according to the Mingo County Redevelopment Authority.
Local officials hope the newer aviation site will help to attract new industry and businesses needed to generate jobs in Mingo County.
The MCAA plans to apply for federal funding and grants for the new regional airport in the near future.
Kyle Lovern is editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at 304-236-3526 or via email at klovern@HDMediaLLC.com