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Officials to seek help on airport goals

Published: Wed, June 15, 2011 @ 10:19 p.m.

VIENNA — Western Reserve Port Authority will seek help from the Ohio Department of Development on two of the airport’s goals — bringing daily commercial air service back to the airport and encouraging industrial development on airport property.

Today, airport officials and local legislators will talk to the ODOD in Columbus to ask for help coming up with the revenue-guarantee money that will be needed to attract an airline.

Dan Dickten, the airport’s director of aviation, has said the airport needs to offer an airline $2 million per year for two years — money the airline could “draw down” in the event that offering the flights is not self-supporting at first.

Local officials such as State Rep. Sean O’Brien of Brookfield, D-65th, Eric Planey of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, and others will participate in person or by conference call, Dickten said.

Meanwhile, Rose Ann DeLeon, executive director or the port authority, whose focus is economic development, announced at today’s port authority meeting that she hopes to apply for money through the fourth and final round of the ODOD’s Jobs Ready Site program.

The port authority would use the funding — up to

$3 million — to prepare a site at the airport for use by an aviation-related or cargo business.

For the complete story, read Thursday's Vindicator and Vindy.com


1redcent(38 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for this story Ed.

I'm really concerned that nobody really has a grasp of what the heck they're doing at the airport, when it comes to prospective development and creating opportunity.

$2.0M to another airline - "just in case." The traffic just doesn't warrant subsidies, that's been clear for a while. Please look at Pittsburgh and Akron-Canton.

More money ($3.0M) for a new building site when they did a very strange inside deal on the last one they had available - which is under scrutiny.

Again, demand just does not warrant it in the near term, and possibly even longer term.

The whole organization appears to need a refresher course in "demand generators." The days of "if you build it - they will come" are long gone.

It may be time to look at the operating budget and balance sheet and reduce the scope and scale of the Port Authority. More narrowly focus on projects that generate demand and otherwise grow existing businesses or facilitate the relocation of other Ohio operations.


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2valleyred(1102 comments)posted 4 years, 5 months ago

Redcent, Akron-Canton acquired AirTran Airways with an even larger minimum revenue guarantee, to the tune of $5 million, in the 90s. AirTran never had to draw down on that money and it was used elsewhere. If we get just 30% of the traffic out of PIT-CLE-CAK, Delta will rarely, if ever, have to draw down on that $4 million total figure.

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