Enplanements at NCWV Airport Rebounding After Weak May

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. — The looming prospect of the new fiscal year means budget review, and North Central West Virginia Airport Director Rick Rock says his plans are always to be “conservative with possible revenues” for the next year and “liberal with expenses.”

By that, he always budgets in hopes that he’s underestimating the yearly finances of the airport–a system that has seemingly worked for several years. For the current fiscal year, the airport has a surplus of more than 1.2 million dollars.

“Our goal as a Board–our goal as a team, the whole team here–is to be self-sustaining,” said Rock. “We’ve been able to do that. We haven’t accepted–or had to–take any money from our two County Commissions in several years.”

Enplanement numbers are back on the rise after a weaker May. Rock said the airport hit 10,000 enplanements earlier in June, and expects to have about 800 more than this time last year by the end of the month. For the entire year, the NCWV Airport projects topping 25,000 enplanements, compared to it’s more than 22,000 in 2014.

“It’s good,” Rock said. “Things are going a positive direction, and we just want to continue to build on that momentum and get people excited about using our airport.”

Things took a negative turn during the public comment portion of the meeting. The lone commentator presented a PowerPoint presentation that attempted to link Rock to impropriety in a bid to clean one of the airport hangers and his compensation as director. Rock was clear that he is open to any scrutiny and has committed no wrongdoing in any way.

“I welcome any judgment that comes on me,” said Rock. “We’re very professional in everything that we do. This airport probably means more to me than anybody in the world.”

Airport Authority President Ron Watson made it clear that the numbers used in the public comment presentation were not even close to accurate, that Rick Rock, the Authority, and the Airport had done nothing wrong, and that the Authority will be open with any questions people have about spending.