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YOUNGSTOWN-WARREN Commissioner has plans to help regional airport



Published: Tue, July 16, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



THE VINDICATOR, YOUNGSTOWN

Northwest Airlines plans to end flights out of the facility Sept. 8.

YOUNGSTOWN -- A cargo hub at the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport hasn't materialized, and commercial flights are to end soon.

So Mahoning County Commissioner Vicki Sherlock thinks the airport should try to get the owners of small, private planes in the area to relocate to the airport.

Sherlock said she planned to outline her idea today for her fellow commissioners.

She also plans to ask the Western Reserve Port Authority, which runs the airport, to consider a survey of the owners of airplanes at other area airports to determine their needs, with an eye toward attracting them to the regional facility.

Sherlock said she wanted to get something going at the airport in Trumbull County.

"Nothing we have tried works. We're always going backward," she said.

Most recently, the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport was denied a $1 million grant to pay airlines for adding flights. Northwest Airlines plans to end flights out of the facility Sept. 8.

'Bread and butter'

Sherlock said the idea to focus on the cargo hub or commercial passenger service "predates" her term in office.

The commissioner said her idea is to try to create a "bread and butter" type operation at the airport.

Federal Aviation Administration records indicate there are 181 airplanes registered in Mahoning County, but only 60 airplanes are based at Youngstown-Warren, she said.

The records also show there are 194 airplanes in Trumbull County, 64 in Ashtabula County and 97 in Mercer County, Pa., she said.

"That's quite a substantial number," she said.

Winner Aviation has a contract with the authority to handle such items as fuel sales for private or corporate airplanes.

Sherlock said that the contract includes control of some hangar space, but renting other hangars must be negotiated with the authority.

She said she planned to talk to the authority about streamlining contracts for the owners of private planes.

Some hangars at the airport aren't in good shape, and construction of more may be needed to attract small plane owners, she added.




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