November 15, 2007
AOPA Eastern Regional Representative Erin Wright and Cincinnati Airport Manager Fred Anderton
Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport is on the cusp of turning over a new leaf.
For five years the southwestern Ohio airport faced threats without any protection—federal grants that provided certain assurances the airport remain open and operating had lapsed. Thanks to AOPA’s intervention and a very active AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer, city officials in Cincinnati and Blue Ash have teamed up to protect the airport and build a park and other community facilities, including an aviation museum, nearby.
As part of the agreement between the cities, Blue Ash purchased land for the park from Cincinnati, and Cincinnati, which owns the airport, agreed to continue to operate and improve the airport.
In a meeting this week with AOPA Eastern Regional Representative Erin Wright and AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn, Cincinnati Airport Manager Fred Anderton said he was preparing a final airport master plan and project list. He expects to complete it by December and then apply for federal Airport Improvement Program grants in January.
“Federal grants are the key,” Dunn said. “Once they use an AIP grant, the airport cannot be closed and access cannot be restricted for 20 years. This is the best protection any airport can get.”
Meanwhile, Blue Ash City Manager David Waltz said the city has committed $2 million in matching funds for the airport’s development. This will help Cincinnati cover the local portion that must be paid for projects that use federal funding.
“Both cities are championing the airport,” said Dunn. “This is one success story that we truly hope will be modeled throughout the country.”
The Flying Physicians Association (FPA) has become the latest group to lend support to third-class medical reform and urge government officials to speed up their review of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). The NPRM would expand the number of pilots who could fly without needing to obtain a third-class medical certificate, a standard that has been successfully used by sport pilots for a decade.
California pilot Christopher Braun has created a revamped version of the cleco plier that is said to be lighter and more ergonomic.
There is no shortage of pilots in eastern Washington, but there does seem to be a scarcity of clubs in that part of the country.
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