Thursday morning, things were quiet on the runway at the Morgantown Municipal Airport, but throughout 2015, that wasn’t the case. The airport led the state in total operations with more than 52,000 total takeoffs and landings.
“We’re moving forward,” said Glen Kelly, the airport’s director. “There’s a lot of firsts, and we’re very proud that we’re trying to really push things forward and progress.”
According to Federal Aviation Administration records, things are on the incline at the Morgantown Airport, which ranked second in the same ranking in 2014 before topping it in 2015. Morgantown beat out the Yeager Airport in Charleston with 5,000 more take-offs and landings last year.
Kelly said this upswing in operations at the Morgantown Airport is indicative of the business market in city.
“People want to come here and need to come here, so it shows just how critical this infrastructure is,” Kelly said.
The airport’s growth is expected to continue as its Runway Extension Project unfolds. Kelly said within the next five years, that project and several others will allow larger airplanes to land in Morgantown, and new businesses will provide an even bigger boost to the local economy.
“We’re also looking at other ways to help bring business to the area, to Morgantown, to ensure our folks have the jobs they need going forward,” Kelly said.
In addition, 2015 marked the airport’s biggest year for operations this decade. Kelly said that’s not only a sign of growth to come, but also a reminder of improvements made in the last five years. Continuing that trend of growth, he said, is vital to the airport’s future.
“Quite often when people land here, it might be their first visit to West Virginia, period, and it might be their last, so we do as good as we can with what we’ve got,” Kelly said. “We want to have a nice welcome mat out for the university and our businesses as well.”