The Clinton County Port Authority and the Wilmington Air Park spent 2016 growing, and preparing for future growth opportunities.
Growing in capabilities. Growing in activity. Growing in tenants and employees. Growing in community outreach. Growing in collaboration.
“In 2016, the Wilmington Air Park regained the technical capabilities to accommodate Category III landings of aircraft,” said Dan Evers, Executive Director of the Clinton County Port Authority. “This means that the Air Park can once again facilitate the landing of aircraft in poor weather conditions when visibility is compromised. This is a significant benefit to current and future aviation tenants and customers.”
The investment in a new, FAA-compliant 20-Antenna array and the hard work and vision of dedicated airport employees made this possible. With proper care and regular checks from the FAA, this capability will continue to be available at the airport for years to come.
The airport grew its fleet of vehicles. Some were replaced, while other vehicles were added to augment the equipment on site, accommodating growing activity. Through thoughtful planning and use of resources, and by connecting with other airports, the Wilmington Air Park has additional snow removal equipment, security vehicles and additional equipment essential to enhance operations at the airport and maintain an excellent safety record, as well as ensuring the “OPEN” sign can continue to shine.
Activity grew at the Wilmington Air Park in the last year. There were more flights, more freight, more UAS operations, and more tenants joined the community in and around the Air Park.
According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the airport at the Wilmington Air Park moved more freight than any other airport in Ohio for a twelve-month period from September 2016-2017. The same report shows that at one point, the airport was the 38th busiest cargo airport in the country.
“We are extremely proud of this achievement. Not simply the ranking; rather, it speaks to the Air Park’s capability,” said Evers. “We know, and these statistics validate, that working together with our tenants and the community, we can draw the employee base, and provide the level of service necessary to facilitate a large-scale operation at the airport. That’s a message we are taking to other prospective users, as we continue to seek partners in our growth.”
The Port Authority partnered with the Clinton County Regional Planning Commission to grow development capacity county-wide, as well. This is being done through a US EPA Brownfields Assessment grant, secured by the Port Authority and the RPC. The Port Authority and RPC have engaged in outreach and information sharing at public meetings; currently, three sites have been or are being considered for assessment. A county-wide opportunity, the Port Authority is administering the grant as well as facilitating all the record-keeping and reporting.
Collaborating locally with the County and the City, and regionally with the Dayton Development Coalition and JobsOhio, the Port Authority has increased the visibility and interest in the Wilmington Air Park and the areas around it. By working to stay active with and connected to these groups, the airport and our community remain in the forefront of discussions regarding possible projects and new business opportunities.
The Wilmington Air Park is more capable, more active and more ready to accommodate our next set of opportunities than it was a year ago.
“There is still work to do – and work we are going to do,” said Evers. “We continued to respond to requests for information as well as continued our diverse marketing efforts throughout 2016. We have recently secured longer-term leases with three companies for location at the Wilmington Air Park. Our mission to facilitate the creation of job opportunities for our community residents is at the forefront of everything we do.”
We have achieved, in collaboration with our tenants and community partners, significant things in 2016. The Air Park demonstrated, once again, that it is an extremely attractive location for air cargo and aviation-related development. Other, non-aviation users have taken space or expanded occupancy. This demonstrates that the Air Park – and the Clinton County community – is an attractive location for a variety of businesses.
We will continue, and extend, our collaboration with ATSG and its family of companies, Clinton County, and the City of Wilmington, to build on our successes and leverage the information we have gained and investments we have made this past year, to secure more opportunities for the Air Park and our community.
The Clinton County Port Authority and the Wilmington Air Park are ready for what is next, as well as capable of creating an environment for success.