December 7, 2006
It's the best of all possible worlds. Citizens benefit, pilots benefit, and the national transportation system keeps a valuable general aviation airport.
The mayors of Cincinnati and Blue Ash have brokered a deal that will improve Blue Ash Airport and keep it open for a long time.
"Everybody gets something out of this deal," Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory told the Cincinnati Enquirer.
"Mayor Mallory and Blue Ash Mayor Robert Buckman have shown extraordinary foresight and leadership in crafting this solution to an issue that has been simmering for more than 20 years," AOPA President Phil Boyer said.
" When I met with Mayor Mallory in May, he showed an understanding of the value of a regional GA airport and a willingness to consider new ideas. And Blue Ash city leaders, who've always wanted to keep the airport, have preserved it over the long haul."
If approved by the respective city councils, Blue Ash will buy a little more than half of the 228-acre airport and develop a city park and a performing arts center on the land. The park will include a World War II aviation memorial with the B-17 My Gal Sal as the centerpiece.
Cincinnati will continue to operate Blue Ash Airport. It will improve the runway, reconfigure the taxiway, and relocate the hangars and airport businesses.
The city also plans to apply for some $10 million in federal Airport Improvement Program (AIP) funds to help finance the improvements. AOPA will work with the city and the FAA to obtain the necessary funding. That would be an additional guarantee for the airport, because a federal grant comes with an obligation to keep the airport open for 20 years.
Blue Ash will offer Cincinnati $37. 5 million for 128 acres of the 228-arce airport site, payable over 30 years. Cincinnati will have five years to reconfigure the airport.
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