July 25, 2008

Details of New Airport Hangars Up in the Air



Staff Writer

WOOSTER -- The county's airport board continued its discussion Tuesday into the construction of new T-hangars and improvements to hangars and their use.

With buzz of planes launching on the runway, the board, Wayne County Commissioner Cheryl Noah and County Planning Director Betsy Sparr reviewed from inside an aircraft hangar options for a project that includes construction of up to 10 hangars. They are called T- hangars because of the T-shaped design, which allows the tail and wings of a plane to fit inside according to its shape.

Cost and other details of the project are not yet known, but construction is expected to begin within a year, said board member John Parker.

Wayne County Airport, 6020 N. Honeytown Road, has about a half dozen hangars, most of which are owned and leased by Mid-Ohio Aviation. Because the county airport owns the land where the hangars are located, a lease fee is paid to the Airport Authority.

But officials learned during the meeting the fee may not have been paid in full. Records showed the Airport Authority received about $1,100 a year for the lease, compared to the agreed amount of $1,500 a month.

Board members discussed the possibility of making back payments, which could generate additional money to the Airport Authority. Actual amounts are not yet known.

The board also welcomed representatives from Delta Airport Consultants, who will help counsel the board for at least a five- year term.

The board discussed whether to approve one all-encompasing contract with Delta or two contracts -- one involving the Airport Authority and a separate contract involving the county commissioners.

Noah said two contracts would provide autonomy for the Airport Authority to act as it sees fit in decisions that do not involve the commissioners.

"It makes sense to me that as an autonomous group, you sign a contract," Sparr said. "If you make your own agreement, then you have the ability to work with Delta independently on projects that don't involve the FAA."

But Noah said after talking with Prosecuting Attorney Martin Frantz and Delta representatives, she learned signing a single contract could be just as effective. The contract with Delta is still being prepared.

In other business, the board reviewed quotes and approved purchasing a new rotating beacon.

Several considerations also were given to documents that will improve the functions and use of the airport as it moves closer to its construction process.

The board approved sending a letter to Mid-Ohio Aviation requesting help with its goals, specifically in improving the hangars. Some are being used to store vehicles and not aircraft.

The board also is reviewing and modifying the Airport Authority's bylaws, compiling minimum standards for airport facilities and preparing to form a mission statement.

Board member Dick Thomas, who has handled some of the board's other writing projects, said he will not write it himself, but instead will form one from each member's input. Discussion of what the mission statement should include will begin before the start of the August board meeting.

"The best way for us to get started is to get into a room in front of a blackboard and (take) ideas." Thomas said. "We'll gradually over a period of time pull this together."

Reporter Chris Kick can be reached at 330-287-1635 or e-mail [email protected]

Originally published by By CHRIS KICK Staff Writer.

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