Ohio DOT Crafting Airport System Improvement Plan

The Ohio Department of Transportation is seeking the input of state residents as it begins a comprehensive analysis of Ohio’s 104 public-use airports; a review that aims to target improvements for future growth and sustainability.

[Above photo by Ohio DOT]

One of the goals of the Ohio Airport System Plan or OASP, which is updated every 10 years, provides the agency’s Office of Aviation and the Federal Aviation Administration with a methodology for prioritizing and funding airport development projects. The Ohio DOT said it expects to issue a final OASP report in 2025.

The last OASP report, released in 2014, found that Ohio’s airport system supports more than 123,000 jobs and produces an economic impact that exceeds $13 billion annually.

“Aviation has played a key role in Ohio’s history and this plan will help ensure that continues into our state’s future,” noted Jim Bryant, administrator of the Ohio DOT’s Office of Aviation, in a statement.

He added that, as part of the OASP creation process, Ohio DOT hopes to gain input from state residents during a virtual public meeting slated for July 19 at 10 a.m.

State departments of transportation play a critical role in the aviation sector, especially when it comes to airport infrastructure needs.

Several state DOT studies – including ones from IowaIllinoisGeorgiaWyoming, and Alaska – show that airports function as significant “economic engines” as well as key mobility hubs for many states.

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) outlined the importance of aviation and airports to state economic activity and residents alike at the recent opening of the $44 million Gallatin County Regional Airport – the 58th general aviation airport in the state and the first serve the I-71 corridor between Louisville and Cincinnati.

“[The airport] will support our booming economy, promote tourism in this region, and provide a new site for emergency responders,” he noted in a statement.

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials also recently published a new report analyzing the impact of general aviation on state and local economies across the country.

That report – officially entitled “The Impact of General Aviation on State and Local Economies: State Reports 2023” – is a joint effort between AASHTO, the Alliance for Aviation Across America, and the National Association of State Aviation Officials. AASHTO said this report is envisioned as a communication resource to help illustrate the important role general aviation serves in state and local communities, as well as within the nation’s economy.

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