BEAVER, W.Va. — The seven-county region around Raleigh County Memorial Regional Airport formally received certification as AEROready communities during a presentation at the airport Monday.
The designation means southern West Virginia has the capacity to support the aerospace industry, according to a survey of property, infrastructure, labor and education by consulting firms Tucson Atlantic Consulting and Common Sense Economic Development.
The certification process was conducted in Raleigh, Fayette, Summers, Nicholas, Wyoming, Mercer, and McDowell Counties, and was financed through a partnership between the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority and Appalachian Power, which also funded an initial site readiness study by InSite Consulting.
Airport officials said future development within the seven counties will require a significant improvement of broadband service and could create as many as 3,000 jobs for engineers, mechanics, and aerospace workers.
Earlier this year, a three-county area around Greenbrier Valley Airport and a four-county area surrounding Huntington’s Tri-State Airport were certified as AEROready.
A survey of six counties near Yeager Airport in Charleston began this week.