Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport planning for expansion, new jobs

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — With West Virginia’s eastern panhandle growing by leaps and bounds, the Martinsburg regional airport is on track to keep up with all the growth.

Expansion plans are adding jobs to the facility and more aeronautic-related business will be locating here. Within five years the airport hopes to employ a workforce of 2,000, building on its economic impact in the region – currently estimated to approach a quarter-billion dollars. Planned additions include air charter services, an expanded FBO, or fixed base operations center for private aircraft, and marketing the air terminal restaurant to visitors from the region at large.

“We are actively talking to some other prospects,” says Nicholas Diehl, executive director of the Eastern West Virginia regional airport. “They’re going to bring more jobs to the area. Some of those will be civilian jobs. Some of those might be military jobs. So we’re very excited about what’s on the horizon here.”

And the director of aviation services at Eastern West Virginia Regional says the explosion of growth will have a ripple effect to help fund roads, schools, parks and libraries and attract even more business to the eastern panhandle.

“That will just bring in additional tax revenues,” says Neil Doran, director of aviation services, “to county government, state government, city government, more expenditures in local businesses, so it’s only good for our economy.”

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Including the West Virginia National Guard, more than 1,600 jobs are currently tied to the Martinsburg facility.

The next step for the airport is a marketing campaign to attract business tenants to the air field and surrounding community.

The MRB website, www.FlyMRB.com, goes live August 1.

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