Airport Authority discusses closure from ice storm
WILLIAMSTOWN — The closure of the airport for a few days following the February ice storm was a topic of discussion among other business items at Tuesday’s Wood County Airport Authority meeting.
An ice storm hit the Mid-Ohio Valley during the week of Feb. 14, which impacted airport business.
To use chemicals to get rid of the ice, Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport manager Glen Kelly said it would cost over $50,000 for one application on the runway and that’s just the beginning of the expense.
“The next night we got about another quarter inch of ice. We have no method here to do chemical deicing. It’s quite expensive,” Kelly said. “We did remove all the snow (but) we couldn’t get enough braking action.”
The airport was closed for three full days, Kelly said, which decreased the monthly enplanements by 110, all of which were booked passengers.
Despite this loss, the airport is still seeing success according to an update from Contour Airlines.
“We had maintained 84 percent of our ridership from 2019. The national average is 58 percent,” Kelly said. “I was very happy to hear that. (It) could give us Contour for several more years.”
According to Federal Aviation Administration reports, the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport is the second busiest airport in the state for the third year in a row and it surpassed Yeager Airport in Charleston.
“It’s still good that we’ve held our own. Most people don’t realize (it) when you tell them we’re the second busiest airport in the state. Parkersburg is that busy (and it’s) due to corporate (general aviation) and military traffic,” Kelly said.
The figures are based on take-offs and landings and aren’t impacted by the airline, passengers or enplanements.
For the month of February, the airport had 224 enplamenets and sold 15,416 gallons of fuel. Those numbers are down from previous years and Kelly said they were both impacted by the ice storm.