The Ohio State University has recently embarked upon a development program for its airport. The purpose of this program is to enhance the airport's role in and contributions to the learning, discovery, and engagement activities of the University through three specific objectives:
1. To Support Academics and Research
As one of the few university-owned & operated airports in the nation that supports university academics and research, the facility serves as both a learning laboratory and research center for the University community. As a result, The Ohio State University Center for Aviation Studies regularly ranks within the top five aviation programs nationwide.
To continue this success; thus, attracting new students and new faculty, emphasis must be placed on developing the larger Ohio Aeronautics Campus, which contains the airport and associated classrooms and laboratories. Specific needs include a new academic center with improved classrooms, research labs, and simulation lab. The campus must continue to offer students a modern aircraft training fleet, on-the-job training, and networking opportunities with the larger aviation industry.
2. To Strengthen the Central Ohio Community
As home of many central Ohio corporate flight departments, and point of entry for many others, the airport has been shown to generate over $157M in annual economic activity for the region. It is also a hub for emergency medical service and other health related activities, which are crucial to the continued health of the central Ohio community.
To continue to improve the image of central Ohio as a place of business, new facilities are necessary to allow individual communities to attract and retain their corporate citizens. Such facilities include an extended runway, which allows access to more distant locations, new hangars to accommodate increasing demand for space, and a corporate airpark.
In addition to the community benefits identified above, the proposed improvements will help the airport maintain its financial sustainability, and will not negatively impact the surround area.
3. To Better Serve as a Gateway to the University and to Central Ohio
As a doorway to the university and central Ohio, the airport serves as a point of entry for most central Ohio corporations, and a point of entry for many major donors to the university. Similar to the South Campus Gateway, Lane Avenue Bridge, The Ohio Union, and other entry points, the airport is the first and last part of the university that many people experience. To maintain the university’s image as a world-class institution, a new terminal building with first-rate amenities is critical.