AOPA and local Airport Support Network volunteer Cheryl Popp are continuing their six-year efforts to ensure the long-term future of the Cincinnati-Blue Ash Airport (ISZ).
The airport is located in the city of Blue Ash but owned by the city of Cincinnati, and at the end of September 2003, the airport's federal grant obligations will run out. Cincinnati has already said it wants to close the airport and concentrate on its other general aviation airport, Lunken Field (LUK). In the past, Cincinnati has expressed a willingness to sell the airport to the city of Blue Ash, but the price Cincinnati wants keeps going up, threatening to stymie the purchase.
"We are extremely disappointed in this turn of events," said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn. "The city of Blue Ash is a willing sponsor for the airport and has been attempting to negotiate its purchase for the past three years."
Several years ago, AOPA helped get a measure through Congress that would have facilitated Blue Ash's purchase of the airport, but Blue Ash and Cincinnati couldn't come to agreement.
AOPA has been in contact with the FAA headquarters Airports Division leadership, who have expressed their concerns over the situation, vowing to work closely with AOPA to find a solution keeping Blue Ash airport open as a public-use airport. The association's Legislative Affairs staff is also planning meetings with members of the Ohio congressional delegation to urge for an agreement to keep the airport open.