Ranieri signs five-year contract to lead airport

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The West Virginia International Yeager Airport Director and CEO is officially signing a contract locking in her role at CRW just in time for a new year of continued projects and more anticipated flight add-ons.

After being appointed to the current position in early September of last year, Dominque Ranieri signed her first contract as Airport Director and CEO in an Employment Agreement covering her time at CRW during a regular Board of Members meeting Wednesday.

Ranieri told MetroNews, similar to past Director Employment Agreements, the contract is for five years. Her base salary is $237,000 a year.

Dominique Ranieri

She said she was happy to sign the agreement as she loves serving the airport and leading an excellent crew of employees. Whether they are new staff members who have just joined the ranks or those who have been working there for over 40 years, Ranieri said they all make the facility what it is.

“Every single one of them cares about the future of this airport and the future of the state of West Virginia and making it the best it can be, so everyday is a fantastic day to come to work,” Ranieri said.

Ranieri is the airport’s first female director in its 75-year history. She served as CRW’s Assistant Director prior to the promotion.

This was the last meeting at the airport for 2023 and it also included a summery of everything the Central West Virginia Regional Airport Authority board has accomplished in a year.

Ranieri said this included a major transition of instating a new airline that continues to add flights to its schedule and bring in more revenue for the airport and the state. She said many hands played a role in getting it here.

“We’ve been able to do some amazing things just in the past year,” said Ranieri. “We have our new entrant Breeze Airways, and of course they’re here thanks to the collaboration of Governor Justice, Tourism Secretary Ruby, the City of Charleston and the Kanawha County Commission.”

She said she also had the senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito, and Congresswoman Carol Miller to thank for the continued support they’ve brought to the airport over the past year, as well.

Ranieri said so far, they have announced four flight routes through Breeze– Charleston, SC, Myrtle Beach, SC, Orlando, FL, and Tampa, FL– and she said they expect to be announcing more flight add-ons through the airline in 2024.

She said the board has also held over 29 meetings with airlines including their incumbents and other industry options over the course of this year.

Ranieri said with all of these new flights and potential new flights to come, this is also creating a wider customer reach.

“We’re seeing those passenger numbers come up from the dip that happened during Covid-19, so it’s great to welcome all of these passengers back and even new people,” she said.

In addition, Ranieri said they have multiple projects underway to enhance their facility and prepare for the future of aviation in West Virginia.

She said they are now gearing up for a very busy year ahead.

“We’ve been planning quite a few things this year that will come to fruition in 2024 and we look forward to continuing the trajectory that the airport is on,” said Ranieri.

This was the airport’s last board meeting for the year. Their next meeting will be held at the end of January 2024.