By Sharahn D. Boykin
XENIA — The Greene County Lewis A. Jackson Airport plans to use a $150,000 Federal Aviation Administration grant to update its master plan and complete other projects, airport officials said this week.
The plan, which is expected to cost about $90,000, will outline future upgrades and improvements to the airport for the next 25 years.
“There are things we are considering in the future, but if we don’t have them in a plan, the FAA won’t look at it (grant applications),” said William “Bill” VonGunten, president of the Greene County Regional Airport Authority.
The Greene County Regional Airport Board Authority owns the airport and is made up of a seven member board who are appointed by the Greene County Board of Commissioners for a term of three years.
The FAA requires a 10 percent local match in addition the funds provided by the federal agency. The county will have to pitch in $15,000.
U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport received $287,010 grant to update its existing master plan and identify future needs.
Brown’s office also announced two grants from the US Department of Transporation and the FAA to the James M Cox Dayton International Airport — including $315,000 to develop that airport’s master plan. The airport also will receive a $1,737,680 grant to be used to install airport beacons and rehabilitate runway lighting, the statement from Brown’s office said.
Don Smith, Greene County airport manager, said the high cost of the plan is because of the need to use certified airport planners and the highly specialized and technical nature of creating a master plan. The last plan — which was developed in 1995 — cost between $90,000 to $95,000, he said.
The plan also will include a report that will evaluate the impact of the plan on the county.
In Greene County, the airport located on Valley Road is home to about 75 planes. The airport averages about 45,000 take offs and landing each year, according to the airport manager.
The airport board would like the master plan to include improvements to security and access to the facility.
VonGuten said the airport board also would like to make improvements to the 40-year-old terminal building.
The process of developing a master plan will include a series of public forums where members of the community can comment. It also will include interviews with stakeholders including officials from nearby municipalities.
While the majority of the money will be used for the master plan, the remaining funds will be used to remove trees on the property and repave the parking lot, Smith said.
Clearing the trees from 18.5 acres of the property will cost about $195,000, according to Smith.
“Our airport is a real jewel in this community,” said Marilyn Reid, a Greene County commissioner, following Smith’s presentation regarding the grant application during a county commission board meeting.