A recent study by the Ohio Department of Transportation estimates that Ohio’s 97 general aviation airports will need more than $500 million over the next 20 years to maintain safe levels of operations. The FAA sets those levels and pays 90 percent of the costs. The other 10 percent comes from state and local funding.
The Ohio House and Senate have both proposed increasing the budget for airport maintenance. These airports are mostly small and don’t accept ticketed passengers. But ODOT spokesman Matt Bruning says they can’t be ignored.
“Obviously you are going to see more of our money and funding go into roads and highways because the bulk of Ohioans travel by roads and highways, but we can’t ignore general aviation airports because they do have a vital role to play in the overall fabric of Ohio’s economy,” Bruning says.
A final figure for the increase will not be determined until the state budget is adopted next week.