CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Construction on a second security checkpoint entrance at Yeager Airport is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks and should be done within three weeks, the airport's director said Wednesday.The new entryway to the Transportation Security Administration's passenger screening area will "enhance the flow," said Yeager Airport Director Rick Atkinson, and nearly double the speed of the TSA's passenger screening operation, reducing lines during peak flight departure hours.Members of the airport's board voted last month to spend $17,000 to share the cost of the addition. The group announced Wednesday that Wiseman Construction would build the new screening lane, a project that requires a hole to be cut through a wall near the current TSA screening entrance.Also Wednesday, Karen Haddad, the airport board's general aviation chairwoman, said RC General Contractors of Charleston has completed 95 percent of the demolition on the remodeling of the airport's general aviation terminal.
The $522,000 upgrade will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls, a fireplace-equipped lounge featuring native stonework and hardwoods, flat-screen displays for weather and flight information, an airlock vestibule main entry, all new furniture, new lighting and expanded and remodeled restrooms.While the makeover is ahead of schedule by one week, she said, it is still expected to take three months to complete.As previously reported by the Gazette, Executive Air, which operates the terminal, is temporarily located in the nearby former Eagle Aviation building. Money to pay for the improvements comes from fees paid to the airport by Executive Air for the right to be Yeager's fixed base operator.The airport governing board also voted to buy a nearly $23,000 Ford Ranger to use in the Parking Facilities. Board members are choosing between the two lowest bidders, Bert Wolfe Ford in Charleston and Bruce Walters Ford in Pikeville, Ky., Atkinson said.Passenger departures at Yeager last month were up 7 percent over March 2011 and continue to grow, said Brian Belcher, the airport's marketing director.Reach Megan Workman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5113.