Airport Master Plan Update Underway
Nearly 30 years has passed since the university prepared a development plan for its airport. The last master plan for the airport was completed in 1990 and many of the projects originally proposed have been completed or require reconsideration.
In light of the university’s recent announcement that it is committed to keeping the airport, and subsequent investments in a new executive terminal/flight lab and t-hangars, the university is once again undertaking a long-term planning process for the facility. In July, the university’s Airport Community Outreach Council held a strategic planning session to officially kick–off the master plan update.
The council, an advisory group made up of community and business leaders as well as citizens from throughout northwest Franklin County, is instrumental in reviewing airport operational and enhancement initiatives for compatibility with the surrounding community. The group’s foresight for the airport will be combined with the university’s vision and additional community input throughout the planning process to formulate the blueprint for the airport’s long-term development.
The council identified the following top three priorities for what the airport should accomplish in the next 20 years:
- To be a valued community, operations, university, and state asset.
- To be a leader in FAA next generation research.
- To be the #1 flight school, community airport and research facility. (tie)
- To be ‘the’ university that the FAA goes to solve problems. (tie)
A similar exercise will be conducted with the public this fall, so this is just the first step in the input and visioning process.
The plan update is made possible through an Airport Improvement Program grant from the Federal Aviation Administration, which will cover 90% of the nearly $873,000 cost of the study. Doug Hammon, airport director, expressed his appreciation for the FAA’s support of the airport. “The FAA recognizes the university’s commitment to the airport, and is an eager partner in developing the future direction of the facility,” Hammon stated.
The estimated 18-month process will include a number of public workshops, in which local residents can learn about the study and provide input to the proposed enhancements. Information will also be available through the airport’s website (https://osuairport.org/airport-facilities/master-plan).
Woolpert, a Dayton base consulting firm, and Columbus-based Engage Public Affairs have teamed to conduct the study for the university. Both firms bring to the table extensive experience in airport planning and development projects.