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AOPA meets with Ohio pilots, state and local leaders to save Blue Ash AirportAOPA meets with Ohio pilots, state and local leaders to save Blue Ash Airport

AOPA meets with Ohio pilots, state and local leaders to save Blue Ash Airport

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AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn,
Blue Ash ASN volunteer Cheryl Popp, and
AOPA Director of Legislative Affairs Keith
Holt meet with pilots and Ohio state and
local officials to save Blue Ash Airport.

Blue Ash Airport (ISZ): It's owned by the City of Cincinnati, but it's located within the city limits of nearby Blue Ash, Ohio. Now, Cincinnati is talking about selling the property - not necessarily to be retained as an airport - to help solve a budget crisis. (The city no longer has to maintain the airport because its FAA grant obligations expired at the end of 2003.) AOPA met Thursday with state and local officials, prominent business leaders, and based pilots to discuss strategies for saving the airport.

"For some time, the City of Blue Ash has been interested in acquiring the airport in order to preserve it and previously offered to buy it from Cincinnati. But Cincinnati is looking for the best deal, the most money, which might not be selling the property to Blue Ash," said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of airports. "AOPA is working with the local pilots and businesses as well as the City of Blue Ash to ensure that ISZ continues to be the healthy general aviation public-use facility that it is today with about 40,000 operations a year."

Several Blue Ash City Council members, the Ohio Department of Aviation, staff for congresswoman Jean Schmidt, Blue Ash Airport Support Network volunteer Cheryl Popp, and local business leaders and pilots attended the meeting to try to find a way to save the airport.

"AOPA has been working to protect Blue Ash for at least seven years," Dunn said. "We plan to explore a number of ideas that came out of the meeting, including possibly working with the State of Ohio to find legislative solutions to this problem.

"Our ASN volunteer continues to play an invaluable role in this effort," Dunn added.

September 30, 2005

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