Each year the OAA selects an airport that puts into practice the association’s mission of promoting aviation by providing a medium for the exchange of ideas, methods, information, and experiences.
“This award is an acknowledgment of an airport who has made extraordinary accomplishments in moving their airport program forward and helping move Ohio aviation forward,” stated Paul Strack, OAA past president. “The Wilmington Air Park has done an extraordinary job bouncing back in supporting aviation locally, creating new opportunities in UAS research and job creation”
“This is and has been a team effort – it has been a long road back and it could not have been done without the support of our federal and state legislators, the expertise of the LGSTX Services Staff and the efforts of JobsOhio and ODOT,” said Carver.
The Wilmington Air Park recently passed its FAA Part 139 inspection with the federal government. It received funds in FY 2014 from the ODOT Office of Jobs and Commerce to complete crack sealing and was awarded a FY 2015 grant from ODOT Aviation Division to replace failing concrete on the taxiways and remove obstructions.
Carver added: “When the Port Authority took ownership of the airport, there were approximately 750 employed at the Wilmington Air Park. Today that number is over 1,100 with a commitment of 200 more jobs in the near term.”
JobsOhio and the Ohio Development Services Agency were able to combine nearly $15 million towards a new aircraft hangar in support of maintenance repair operations of large aircraft for AMES, one of the Wilmington Air Park’s tenants. The community and the Port Authority contributed another $3 million and the company has signed a 23-year lease.
LGSTX Services is contracted by the Port Authority to manage the Wilmington Air Park. A new business developed after the donation of the Air Park, LGSTX is staffed by many individuals who have been with the Wilmington Air Park for over 20 years. This level of experience was invaluable to the Port Authority at the time of the donation and continues to be today, officials noted.
The OAA Airport of the Year award is chosen through input from member airport operators, the FAA’s Detroit Airports District Office (ADO), ODOT and among the OAA Board.