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.
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.