ODOT and FAA seek input on public airports

By Frank Lewis

September 7, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have scheduled a meeting in Pike County to hear ideas from the public concerning publicly-owned general aviation airports. On Tuesday, Sept. 10, from 2 – 4 p.m., the meeting will be held at the Pike County Government Center, Rooms 104 and 105, located at 230 Waverly Plaza, in Waverly.

ODOT and the FAA say they are working to make limited dollars for general aviation in Ohio go further. In doing so they are seeking out the opinions of Ohioan’s statewide.

ODOT is hosting seven public meetings between Sept. 10 and 19 to provide Ohio’s 97 publicly-owned general aviation airports and their local communities an opportunity to share their ideas.

In 2012, the FAA invested approximately $26 million in Ohio’s general aviation airports, and ODOT issued approximately $725,000 in grant funding, however, these combined funds addressed only a fraction of the requested needs.

The ODOT-led Ohio Airports Focus Study, which kicked-off last September, is identifying what types of airport services are provided throughout Ohio today, and what gaps need to be filled in the future. ODOT said this system wide look will ensure Ohioans have convenient access to a variety of aviation services – and provide ODOT and FAA another tool in deciding how to spend limited grant funds.

“Budgets are tight these days and we are all making decisions about how to get the most out of every dollar we spend,” ODOT Aviation Administrator James Bryant said. “Airports are no different, and we are eager to hear ideas from airport operators and local officials on how best to improve the future of aviation in Ohio.”

Other public meetings will take place:

· Thursday, Sept. 12, 2 – 4 pm at the Brecksville Community Center, Rooms A, B & C, 1 Community Drive, Brecksvill 44141

· Friday, Sept. 13, 10 am - noon at Zane State College, Rooms 529 & 530, Willett-Pratt Training Center, 9900 Brick Church Road, Cambridge 43275

· Monday, Sept. 16, 2 - 4 pm at the Delaware Community Center YMCA, Community Room, 1121 South Houk Road, Delaware 43015

· Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2 - 4 pm at Avetec, Main Conference Room, 4170 Allium Court, Springfield 45505

· Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2 – 4 pm at the Findlay Inn and Conference Center, Fort Findlay Room, 200 East Main Cross, Findlay 45840

· Thursday, September 19, 2 - 4 pm at the Warren County Career Center, Commons Area, 3525 North State Route 48, Lebanon 45036

Beginning September 10, all public meeting materials and an online survey will be available at www.AirportsFocusStudy.ohio.gov.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.