By: Phil Kriley
It was interesting to read about the revenues generated by the Butler County ($39 million) and Zelienople ($8.2 million) airports.
As a pilot, I use both airports and thought I’d provide a little more information for interested readers.
The Butler County Airport has a very general aviation-friendly management (small planes). That airport has a very professional fixed-base operator. There are modern, clean facilities such as a pilots’ lounge, vending machines, restrooms and a waiting area for passengers.
Zelienople also has a fixed-base operator, but it is only for jet customers. The only facility for general aviation pilots and passengers is a portable outhouse – no vending machines, nowhere to get a drink of water.
Butler’s hangar lease agreement is one and a half pages of common-sense rules whereas Zelienople’s new lease agreement is many pages long with language that is so objectionable that the Airport Advocacy Department of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association drafted an official four-page letter to the Zelienople Airport Authority on behalf of the tenants.
One airport welcomes general aviation pilots and their passengers with open arms; the other seems to be on a track to eliminate all planes that don’t have turbines for power.
One airport is actively building new hangars for small planes, and the other is in the process of tearing down all of the existing general aviation hangars (even the newer ones with concrete floors and electric doors) in favor of an industrial park.
It’s pretty easy to guess which is which, isn’t it?
Source: BUTLER EAGLE