Lorain County Regional Airport in Ohio got a reprieve from closure this week when the county decided to postpone plans to shut down the airport for at least another month.
Lorain County is bound to keep the airport open by agreements it made when it received federal grant money, but it announced in December that it would close the airport Jan. 1 due to a budget shortfall for 2010. It pushed the date back to Jan. 15 when the FAA said such a hurried closure could make the county liable for civil penalties of up to $10,000 a day. After meeting with FAA airport officials last week, the county has said it will take a month to consider other options for the airport.
The FAA had notified the county in December that it could not close the airport without the FAA’s consent and that the agency may pursue a court order to keep the airport operating. AOPA also expressed its opposition to the planned closure.
The FAA has provided grant money to Lorain County because it considers the facility an important reliever airport that benefits aviation in the county, the greater Cleveland area, and northeastern Ohio. Airports that accept money from the FAA are obligated to stay open to the public for the next 20 years.