NetJets’ generosity helps lift airport modernization to completion

Posted: March 4, 2019

Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal & Aviation Learning Center
Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal & Aviation Learning Center

A steadfast supporter of aviation education at The Ohio State University, Columbus-based NetJets recently extended the impact of its philanthropy to the university’s airport.

The worldwide leader in private aviation, NetJets donated $1.2 million toward the completion of The Ohio State University Airport’s modernization project, which included construction of the new Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal and Aviation Learning Center. The NetJets name will adorn walls of the main lobby and observation deck in the beautiful new facility.

Since opening in 1942, Ohio State’s airport has served as a learning lab for future aviation professionals, a hub of research, and a highly regarded facility for civilian and small business aircraft, including those of NetJets customers. Measured by takeoffs and landings, it is the fourth-busiest airport in Ohio and one of the nation’s top 100 general aviation airports.

“NetJets is thrilled to continue our commitment to the next generation of pilots by contributing to The Ohio State University Airport,” said NetJets Executive Vice President of Operations Alan Bobo. “The new observation deck and lobby will welcome passengers into the city of Columbus, where NetJets’ headquarters has been based for more than 50 years.”

In 2011, NetJets donated $2 million to establish Ohio State’s Center for Aviation Studies. In 2015, the company gave an additional $1 million to fund faculty leadership positions, NextGen aviation research initiatives, and internship opportunities. And last year, NetJets donated seven Cessna Skyhawk 172 training aircraft for Ohio State’s growing flight education program.

Second floor view of the NetJets Observation Deck
Second floor view of the NetJets Observation Deck
The two-story, 29,500-square-foot Austin E. Knowlton Executive Terminal and Aviation Education Center is home to flight school classrooms and simulators, a student flight hub, private aviation services, administration offices, and meeting rooms. Large windows overlook the airfield, providing an observation deck that is especially popular among children in the community.

“NetJets is THE key partner for Ohio State aviation, both on campus and at the airport,” remarked College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams. “Their support and investment over many years has ensured the future growth of the program and will allow us to attract the very best leadership, faculty and students.”

Located in northwest Columbus approximately seven miles away from main campus, The Ohio State University Airport will host a community open house on Tuesday, March 12, from 3–5 p.m. 

Category: Giving