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GA scores safety, funding wins in OhioGA scores safety, funding wins in Ohio

Ohio Gov. John Kasich has signed a state appropriations bill that assures general aviation airports a fair share of grant funding through 2019, and enhances safety by improving the process for reviewing proposed tall structures near airports.

AOPA Great Lakes Regional Manager Kyle Lewis met with lawmakers during the appropriations process to defend GA airports against an amendment that would have required that 25 percent of all airport grant funds—more than $2 million—be allocated to the state’s commercial airports to the detriment of community airports and AOPA’s approximately 9,200 members in Ohio.

“That amendment did not make it to the final version of the bill, keeping all funding viable for smaller GA airports,” he said. “The state of Ohio matches all FAA Airport Improvement Program grants at five percent, so local municipalities only need to match the remaining five percent.”

Lewis pointed out to legislators that “the commercial airports already have a funding stream from commercial enplanements and other associated fees.”

Lewis also provided written testimony during Senate Finance Committee deliberations to urge that provisions of the Ohio Airport Protection Act that had been stripped from the House appropriations bill during Senate action be restored.

As passed and signed by Kasich, the measure establishes a stricter permitting process for tall structures such as towers, wind farms, and even some commercial and residential construction near airports, enhancing aviation-system safety.

Also, “The Ohio Department of Transportation’s Office of Aviation oversees the permitting process, and can now charge a permit fee to offset the nearly $500,000 per year cost to taxpayers for the process,” Lewis said.

Dan Namowitz

Dan Namowitz

Associate Editor Web
Associate Editor Web Dan Namowitz has been writing for AOPA in a variety of capacities since 1991. He has been a flight instructor since 1990 and is 30-year AOPA member.
Topics: Advocacy, State Legislation

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