August 27, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
The Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) Office of Aviation is urging pilots to offer their input at during upcoming public meetings on the state’s Airports Focus Study. Public input is critical to the planning process for Ohio’s 97 publicly owned, general aviation airports, according to the department, and local pilots should plan to attend.
The focus study will produce a new statewide airport system plan and quantify the economic impact of each airport and the system as a whole, according to ODOT. ODOT spends just under $1 million per year on Ohio’s GA airports, while the FAA spends about $20 million annually on general aviation needs in the state.
The study has been moving along in the past year, and the office is now planning a second round of public meetings. The first round of meetings was completed in January, with more than 300 attendees representing 42 airports attending in person, and another 270 responding online, according to ODOT.
“To ensure that the focus study is accurately addressing the concerns of pilots, AOPA is urging our Ohio members to attend the local meetings,” said Bryan Budds, AOPA’s Great Lakes regional manager. “The goal of the study is to ‘optimize investment in Ohio’s airport system with an eye toward safety, efficiency and economic growth.’ The study’s findings will assist ODOT and the FAA in making hard decisions on proposed airport development in a period of limited funding.”
AOPA serves on the Project Advisory Committee for the study with others, including the Ohio Aviation Association, to ensure that general aviation pilots and airports are appropriately represented as ODOT attempts to better understand the aviation assets it oversees, said Budds. The study is expected to be completed by the summer of 2014.
Meetings will be held between Sept. 10 and Sept. 19 in locations across Ohio. Click here for more information on the public meetings.
Department of Transportation,
AOPA thanks our members for their continued support in protecting the freedom to fly.