OSU Airport Expansion Begins March 3rd, 2006

On Friday, March 3rd 2006, the OSU Board of Trustees meets to vote on the first item to pave the way for the expansion of the airport.

First, a review of the Airport Layout Plan, or ALP, is helpful in understanding the context of this article. In a recent meeting, members of the OSU Airport Advisory Board were provided a copy of the ALP. An earlier draft of this document went to the FAA. The current draft (linked above) incorporates the changes requested by the FAA and meets their standards for approval.

Grass aircraft parking at the west apron (in red) will be paved and aircraft moved there from the east apron. This makes room for potential future hangars (shown in green). Click for a larger image.

The most striking thing about this map is the scope of development it contains. While it is a long-term plan, it is also demand-driven. Understand that before most of the development on the plan can take place, the proper FAA studies must be conducted. However, our research has shown that the FAA study processes are lax and it relatively easy to receive approval. With this in mind, the ALP is the plan the airport and the FAA have agreed to implement if there is enough demand.

One item on the agenda of the Board of Trustees Fiscal Affairs Committee meeting is titled "Airport Pavement Rehabilitation." This includes paving what is currently an unpaved aircraft parking area.

One motivation for this, cited by the airport, is to move aircraft from the east apron to the west apron for security reasons. The thought is that, since more workers are on the west apron, they will be able to observe the people around the aircrafts more closely.

We find the security claim of dubious merit. The east apron currently has a much better security fence then the west apron, and there are generally no workers at the airport after 11PM to observe anything. Further, the air traffic control tower is closed nightly from 11PM to 7AM.

However, the ALP also shows that this move will make room for hangars. We have been told these hangars might be put in in the next 15 years if there is demand. We are also told the waiting list for hangars is in excess of 100 people.

It appears that the airport, in coordination with the FAA, has laid the groundwork for and is now beginning the expansion of the airport.

Please consider writing to your representatives and attending the March and April Board of Trustees meetings.

This page last modified on Thu Mar 27 2008 at 11:59 pm
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