Greene County airport plans $1M in runway improvements

The Greene County Regional Airport Authority, a seven-member board who owns the airport, plans to fund the project with a Federal Aviation Administration grant and is waiting for final approval of the money. The airport would be required to contribute 10 percent in matching funds.

“This is routine for all airports,” said William “Bill” Von Gunten, the airport authority president. “You use the runway as long as you can. You do minor repairs to keep it viable and just like all blacktop roads or runways, you’re eventually going to have to do a major repair.”

Annually, about 35,000 takeoffs and landings occur on the 4,500 foot long runway, according to Don Smith, the airport manager. The publicly owned airport,on North Valley Road, is used mostly by small single-engine planes that hold up to four people.

“Its grown a little bit in the last few years with the contracts MacAir has been able to get,” Smith said.

MacAir Aviation Services, a commercial business inside the airport whose services include fuel sales, aircraft rental and flight instruction, plans to use the hanger it leases in Clinton County during the runway repaving.

“We’re going to have to find alternate locations,” said Stacy McNutt, the MacAir business and fix base operator manager. “We have done some preliminary inquiries … We’ll work around it.”

The airport extended the runway 500 feet about six years ago, however its been at least 15 years since the runway has been repaved, according to Von Gunten.

“It’s cracking,” he said. “The Ohio Department of Transportation inspected it. They said we had less than two years remaining until it becomes unserviceable.”

The airport has repaired cracks on the runway over the last five years, however some of the cracks are getting larger, Von Gunten said.

“The section of runway that needs it the most is the original (runway),” Von Gunten said. “But once they start, they have to pave the entire thing.”

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