December 13, 2011 By Gordon Graham
Blue Ash Airport will likely fade into the pages of history if the City of Cincinnati or a private buyer doesn’t step in to save it.
There was a time when the Blue Ash Airport was a thriving airport, but with the decline in general aviation, those days are gone, at least as far as the City of Cincinnati is concerned.
City Manager Milton Dohoney says its a matter of dollars and cents.
“There’s not sufficient revenue from the operation for us to want to keep it going,” he said. “We realized only $25,000 in revenue last year. You think about an airport operation and that’s what it’s doing…it’s just not worth it.”
FOX19 talked to some pilots who think the airport is worth it. Steve Sprovach with the Save Blue Ash Airport Committee says the airport is an economic engine.
“According to the last Ohio Department of Transportation study it generated $6.9 million in revenues and there are 75 jobs directly associated with the airport,” he said.
Linda Roehrenbeck is a pilot who says the airport is very convenient.
“Lots of business folks on this side of town that it’s very advantageous to fly in. Its uncomplicated, the air space is good,” said Roehrenbeck.
Martha Lunkin has been flying for 50 years and says the airport is good for the local economy.
“There’s a lot of business and industry out in this part of the city that’s moved out this way and its a great business tool for the city of Cincinnati,” said Lunkin. “It’s brought a lot of benefit to the economy.”
As a former FAA inspector, Lunkin says Blue Ash performs a valuable service.
“The airlines are going to need pilots in huge numbers in the next 10 years they’re forecasting and it’s airports like this that turn out, the military doesn’t train pilots anymore, its general aviation,” she said.
The City of Blue Ash has purchased 130 acres of the airport which will be turned into a park and performing arts center.
Airport supporters say their only hope of saving this airport is by slowing down the development process and finding a new buyer, but they admit that’s a long shot.
Source: FOX 19