Ohio's Direct Grant Program Hit Hard by Budget Cuts

May 25, 2020

In our last posting, we explained how our airports are dealing with COVID-19.  There has since been another twist to how our airports are dealing with the fall-out of COVID-19: Ohio's Direct Grant program has been slashed.  Twenty projects were selected at General Aviation (GA) airports by the Ohio Department of Transportation for FY2020.  Eighteen of those 20 grants have been negatively impacted by the budget cuts ordered by the Office of Budget Management.  Airport projects notoriously are completed late in the state's fiscal year due to design, bid, and construction processes. Our money was still sitting on the table, ripe to be taken back from the airports. And the state needed to come up with cuts.  

The truth of the matter is that we all understand: state revenues are down drastically due to the stay-at-home orders. The latest numbers say more people have filed for some level of unemployment assistance in Ohio than ever before.  How are Ohio's schools going to teach kids next year?  These are BIG issues. 

Read More

Ohio Airports and COVID-19 Responses

 April 30, 2020

The world has turned into an unrecognizable place to many. Kids are home from school while trying to receive an education. Workers that can work from home are encouraged to do so. Workers that are still showing up to help the rest of us are masked, gloved, and spaced apart from each other.  Bus routes and airline routes are being canceled. 

Most. Definitely. Unrecognizable.

Read More

2019 General Aviation Appreciation Month Is Here!

December 18, 2019

All across the great State of Ohio, December is being recognized as General Aviation Appreciation Month. The Ohio Aviation Association works with the Alliance for Aviation Across America to draft sample language for proclamations and/or resolutions for public bodies to take action. Why do we do this?  We do it because it brings attention to a fairly forgotten, but immensely important, sector of aviation: General Aviation.

So what is "General Aviation" anyway? General aviation is defined as all civilian flying except scheduled passenger service. It is wide and varying: from introducing elementary kids to airplanes, conducting surveys, moving cargo, and more -- general aviation does a lot!

General aviation helps with something as simple as a quick visit back home to something as complex as emergency evacuations; from agriculture management to airborne law enforcement; and from private pilot training to delivering a CEO and their team to an important meeting at significant time savings.

Read More

September Member Appreciation Happy Hour!

October 14, 2019

Our Member Appreciation Happy Hour was loads of fun on September 5, 2019!  We also took the opportunity to thank two departing Board Members, Tory Richardson, AAE and Carlos Ruiz-Coll, AAE, both leaving the great State of Ohio for other opportunities! We wish them well!


Keep watch for additional after-hours opportunities to mingle with your fellow OAA members!

Member Appreciation Happy Hour!

August 26, 2019

Join your fellow members for some food and fun on September 5, 2019! Come help us celebrate you! We have had a great year and you deserve it! So join us!

Rusty Bucket Restaurant and Tavern
4109 N. High Street
Columbus, OH 43214
Clintonville Area
4-6 pm

Read More

A Rising Tide for Ohio's Airports!

August 5, 2019


The Ohio Aviation Association is pleased that the latest operating budget for the State provided a modest increase for the airports in Ohio!  Ohio’s eligible airports (those that are in the NPIAS and a select number of State-approved airports) will see just over $6.4 Million appropriated in the Airport Improvement line item each year of this biennium.  That is $500,000 more, annually, than the previous budget!

Thanks to all OAA members for your assistance (written testimony, in-person testimony, participating in our Legislative Day, etc.)  in boosting Ohio’s offerings to companies and communities, both large and small, through a safe and efficient air transportation system.

Read More

HB 301: Abandoned Aircraft Legislation Introduced

July 5, 2019

Last month, Representatives Perales and Holmes introduced HB 301 that will have an impact around the state. HB 301 will address a common occurrence of abandoned aircraft in airports and private property. Once passed, Ohioans will be able to apply for and obtain property titles to aircraft left on their property, similar to current provisions addressing watercraft. This will aid in limiting those that want to use our limited and valuable asset of airports but not contribute to the system.

HB 301 - Abandoned Aircraft legislation can be found here.

Read More

Executive Director Heaton Appointed to OAATC

June 15, 2019


Ohio Aviation Association's Executive Director, Stacey Heaton, was recently appointed to the 133rd General Assembly's Ohio Aerospace and Aviation Technology Committee (OAATC). Chaired by Retired Major (USAF) and State Representative Rick Perales, the mission of the OAATC is to create opportunities in Ohio for economic growth, jobs, education, and to shape and grow the future of the aviation and aerospace industries. With representatives from all corners of the State possessing diverse experience and expertise, this committee is poised to keep Ohio as the premier leader in the skies and beyond!

If you have questions or concerns for Ms. Heaton to carry to the OAATC, please contact us at [email protected]!

New Board Members and Awards at the Annual Conference

April 18, 2019

The Ohio Aviation Association held its annual conference, themed “Building Something Better!” on April 9th and 10th. Our annual conference provides airports, and businesses that serve airports, the opportunity to learn about the latest trends of the airport and aviation industry, hear from Federal Aviation Administration and Ohio Department of Transportation officials and mingle with peers. Additionally, Mr. David Baker, President and CEO of the Pro-Football Hall of Fame and Ms. Shelly Simi, President and CEO of the National Association for State Aviation Officials, were special guest speakers.

"The 2019 Annual Conference provided great opportunities for education, sharing knowledge and networking," said Lance Wanamaker, President of the Board of Directors of the OAA. "Ohio has a strong group of airport professionals who help in ‘Building Something Better’ for the future of Ohio. We were very appreciative that Representative Rick Perales (District 73), Chair of the Ohio Aviation and Aerospace Technical Committee, joined us to speak to our members about the importance of airports and aviation for the State’s economy.”

OAA’s Annual Business Meeting, held Tuesday afternoon during the conference, presented its slate of officers as well as nominations for new Board members. This year we were pleased to welcome three directors-at-large:

Read More

OAA Commends Governor DeWine

March 19, 2019


COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Aviation Association applauds Governor DeWine’s support for the continued investment in general aviation airports as noted in his recently released recommended budget for fiscal years 2020-2021. The recommended budget for Airport Improvements is approximately $5.9 million annually. The Ohio Aviation Association, and our members, are appreciative of Governor DeWine’s commitment to the State’s aviation infrastructure included in his first State budget.

Read More

Rep. Rick Perales Receives Legislator of the Year Award!

February 27, 2019


The Ohio Aviation Association is proud to inaugurate the Legislator of the Year Award in 2019.

Read More

December is General Aviation Appreciation Month

Updated December 24, 2018 
December 4, 2018

December is General Aviation Appreciation Month

All across the great State of Ohio, December is being recognized as General Aviation Appreciation Month. Just what does that mean?  It means:
  1. These communities recognize their airports play a critical role in the lives of its citizens, as well as in the operation of businesses and farms.
  2. These communities have a significant interest in the continued vitality of general aviation, aerospace, aircraft manufacturing, educational institutions, aviation organizations, community airports, and airport operators.
  3. These communities recognize that general aviation airports in Ohio have a major economic impact on the state's economy as it supports thousands of jobs, hundreds-of-millions in annual payroll and contributes more than $1.8 billion to the state’s economy.
  4. These communities recognize that many in Ohio depend heavily on general aviation and community airports for the continued flow of commerce, tourists and visitors to our state.
These are the very same points that OAA shares time and again, on your behalf!  While there are several other States around the nation that designate a General Aviation Appreciation Month, Ohio's is December!  Here are just some of the communities that have pledged their support of General Aviation because they recognize its importance to Ohio!  Click on the links to see a PDF of their proclamation!

Membership Satisfaction Survey Results Are In!

November 8, 2018

Membership Satisfaction Survey Results Are In!

The 2018 Membership Satisfaction Survey results are in!  Here are a few takeaways for your information: 
  1. Top answers to “What would you tell a peer is the best benefit of belonging to OAA?”: Advocacy, Networking, and the Annual Conference.

  2. Top answers to “How do you prefer to meet/get to know other members?”: Conference, Networking Outside of the Conference, and Board Meetings/Committee Work.

  3. Top answers to “How can we help facilitate networking for members?”: At the Conference and After-Hours Events (not associated with the conference).

  4. Top answers to “What types of events would you like to see OAA offer in the future?”: Airport Management training Classes, Airport Tours for Members, and After-Hours Gatherings.

  5. Top Social Media Platform Used: Linked In, Facebook.

  6. How satisfied are you with your OAA membership? 92% are satisfied or very satisfied.

There were a few results that we will attempt to dive into over the next few weeks. One result, in particular, has our BOD attention: 23% of survey respondents indicated they least-liked the OAA Annual Awards. Unfortunately, no additional comments were provided to add clarification to this answer. But OAA will dig-in and find out exactly what our members are trying to tell us and seek to improve!

The OAA Board of Directors take these results to heart! We will work hard to integrate the suggestions and needs of our members!  Thanks again to all the members that took the time to complete our survey!

OAA Joined AOPA, EAA, and ODOT for Aviation Day

September 19, 2018

OAA Joined AOPA, EAA, and ODOT for Aviation Day on September 18, 2018

The Ohio Aviation Association was pleased to partner with AOPA, EAA, and ODOT Aviation to educate, communicate and advocate at the Statehouse.  With exhibit tables set up in the Rotunda and a lunch in the Atrium, AOPA, ODOT, and OAA helped to get the word out about aviation in the State of Ohio!  AOPA was able to get Cirrus to bring in an SR-22 for display outside the Statehouse for some excitement!  For a copy of the OAA presentation, click here.

Make sure to watch for the date of OAA's spring Legislative Day so you can plan to help!

Here are some photos for your enjoyment!

Read More

County Prosecutor Assistance Bill has been Signed!

August 31, 2018


Newly Enacted Bill Allows Airport and Port Authorities to Seek Legal Assistance from County Prosecutors

Earlier this month, Governor Kasich signed a priority bill for Ohio Aviation Association that would allow County Prosecutors to provide legal assistance to port and airport authorities. OAA has worked to enact this important legislation at the request of members who have previously received assistance from their county prosecutor or have an interest in obtaining assistance from their county prosecutor. A 2015 opinion issued by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine found that this practice was not allowed under the Ohio Revised Code and that a statutory change was required. House Bill 34, sponsored by State Representatives Steve Hambley (R-Medina) and Scott Ryan (R-Newark) was introduced last year; OAA worked to have this language added to the bill during Senate consideration last month.

Generally, the bill allows port authorities, airport authorities, and regional planning commissions to seek legal assistance and representation from a county prosecutor. There are some key provisions that airports should keep in mind—

Read More

Meet OAA's Treasurer!

August 16, 2018

An accounting background, a love for aviation, and a love for public service give us one of OAA’s Officers. Meet Mr. Gary R. Folden!  Gary has served on the OAA Board of Directors for the last three years. He serves as both the OAA’s Treasurer and OAA’s Political Action Committee Treasurer as well. From Jefferson County Airport, he travels to all parts of the state supporting OAA and its mission. Read more about what the OAA means to Jefferson County Airport and what the OAA means to Gary personally.

What does the Ohio Aviation Association mean to your airport?

The Jefferson County Airport, located in eastern Ohio, is a small general aviation facility with limited financial resources and a mostly part-time staff. The OAA is a crucial tool in assisting with the development and management of the airport. Our Airport Authority Board relies heavily on the information that is disseminated by the OAA. The organization keeps us informed of current trends in aviation as well as providing vital updates from the FAA and ODOT Aviation Office. We have attended the annual conferences for many years to gather recent news and learn about developments in the industry. The resources available on the OAA website has been extremely useful and reduced the time and effort it takes to build a policy or create a document.

However, we consider the most vital role of the OAA is to work with the Ohio Legislature to improve the aviation environment in the State. The OAA can be considered a partner with the ODOT Aviation Office and has successfully worked to increase funding to airports through the State budget. The Jefferson County Airport has been the recipient of the State’s five (5%) matching funds for much-needed rehabilitation projects at the airport. Without the funding, the projects could have been jeopardized. Our board continues to rely heavily on the OAA to promote the need for aviation in our county and throughout the State.

Read More

2018 Gubernatorial Candidate Surveys

June 13, 2018

Last month, the Ohio Aviation Association sent major party candidates for Ohio Governor a brief survey to gauge their positions on aviation funding and policy issues.  Our goal was to provide our members with information regarding the aviation policy platforms for Gubernatorial candidates.  On May 8th, Ohio voters went to the polls to select candidates for office in the Primary. Former Ohio Attorney General and Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray won the Democratic nomination while current Ohio Attorney General and former United States Senator Mike DeWine won the Republican nomination. Both candidates responded to OAA’s survey. Click below to read each item:

Cover Memo
Cordray Response
DeWine Response

A Message from Past President Tory Richardson

June 4, 2018

 A Message from Past President Tory Richardson

Dear OAA Members:

If your passion is to help the Ohio airport and aviation community shine, you may have already had a pang in your gut to help serve in some way.  Serving on the non-profit OAA Board is a fun and rewarding way to advocate for aviation in Ohio! As Board Members, we take our responsibilities seriously and are always looking for ways to engage and improve. If you are interested in serving on the Board with some of your colleagues from across the state, we encourage you to step up.

With the significant improvements in OAA over the past couple of years, we are pleased to find ourselves in the position of having several OAA members indicate the desire to be more involved with OAA by serving on the Board. With such great interest, we are requesting that each OAA member that is interested in becoming an OAA board member provide us with their resume as well as a brief expression of interest describing why they want to serve and how their service will help OAA promote aviation in the State.

Read More

Get to Know Your Past President: Greg Heaton

May 31, 2018

The Ohio Aviation Association has been around for several decades (originally known as the Ohio Airport Managers Association). Some of our Board Members have been around OAA for quite some time as well, adding value through “corporate memory” and consistency. One such Board Member, Mr. Greg Heaton, has been a driving force for several of the changes some might have witnessed over the last few years. Around Ohio since 2003, Greg Heaton serves as a Vice President for Crawford, Murphy & Tilly, Inc. (CMT) in their Columbus Office. Greg immediately got involved with OAA upon moving to Ohio and has been a very active member ever since. Greg has served as President of OAA in 2015-2016 and again in 2016-2017. Greg also serves as the President of the Ohio Aviation Association Political Action Committee.

Here is what Greg said when I ask him about OAA:

What does OAA mean to You?

OAA is the collective strength and voice of Ohio airports and businesses that use/support airports. These airports provide safe, modern facilities that meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s flyers. OAA brings together the many stakeholders that form a team that makes the Ohio aviation system shine. I love being a part of this community which, together, raises airports to heights which cannot be achieved individually.

Read More

What does OAA mean to our Board Director and Conference Chair?

March 2, 2018


As the Executive Director of the Ohio Aviation Association, sometimes I get to spend a lot of time with my Directors. These last few months I have worked closely with OAA's Conference Committee to put together a great program for OAA members and non-members alike. This year’s Conference Committee Chair is Mr. Tom Mochty. He is a Senior VP at Woolpert, Inc. and he sits in Dayton, but you will find him all over Ohio and beyond.

In one recent chat, I asked him what OAA means to him and Woolpert. Here is an insider’s look at our conversation…

Read More