By Frank Lewis
It may be the best kept secret in Scioto County — the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport at Minford is not just a place for hobbyists to get out and have some fun on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Paul Brogdon, manager of the airport, says it is actually a necessity to the viability of the area.
“It has to do with economic growth,” Brogdon said. “Companies that are interested in doing business here can fly in here and they can meet with people; look over buildings, plants, and we handle from small planes up to big jets. I’ve seen people come from all corners of the country and in some cases, the world. General aviation, particularly business aviation, is where the growth is now.”
The airport was dedicated on Oct. 18, 1959, and has seen steady improvement and continued maintenance over the years. Brogdon said some days several flights will leave and/or arrive at the facility, with some days being busier than others.
“We have a lot of local business people who have planes as a business tool,” Brogdon said. “Some may have locations in several places, and they can get in their planes and visit two or three locations in a day, fly around and take care of business in their airplane. For guys like these, an airplane is a business tool just like someone here might have a company car that they drive around in locally.”
Brogdon said many companies have found that purchasing a jet is an important business investment which pays for itself in utility use and by saving time.
“An airplane is a business tool they use to make money with,” Brogdon said. “It’s not something that they plan and have fun with. It’s a business tool just like the guy who goes out and buys a new tractor because he needs it to do his business.”
Brogdon said people who have to travel to major airports such as in Columbus then have to rent a car, drive two hours to the area, look over potential industrial sites, the drive two hours back to Columbus to the airport really find that schedule a waste of valuable business time.
“He’s on airport time instead of his,” Brogdon said. “He may come down here and meet with someone for two or three hours and may tie himself up for two days doing it. But if the guy has an airplane, he can fly right into this airport and meet with someone an hour or two or three and jump back in his airplane and be back home for supper. That’s the value of this airport.”
Brogdon said another involvement of the airport at Minford is the current bidding status of the Portsmouth Bypass project.
“I’ve talked with a couple of engineers who have had questions how the airport is going to interact with this thing,” Brogdon said. “We’re seeing companies come in to visit sites and to look at property and sit down and have business meetings with regard to the Bypass, because these are multinational super companies and they don’t have time to be piddling around. They want to come in here, talk to who they’ve got to talk to and then they’re off somewhere else. They can cover two or three cities easily in one day.”
Brogdon said, as far as local airports around the state, the Greater Portsmouth Regional Airport at Minford is one of the finest in the state.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.