The final public meeting for the Kent State University Airport Master Plan has been scheduled for July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stow-Munroe Falls High School Auditorium, located at 3227 Graham Road in Stow, Ohio. The first public meeting was in 2013 to introduce the project to the community and seek input about the airport's future. During the second public meeting in November 2014, the public had an opportunity to review and provide comments on the alternatives' development and evaluation.
Beginning at 6 p.m., the project team will make a presentation on the project including the preferred alternative that will be submitted to the Kent State University Board of Trustees and senior leadership. Following the presentation, there will be a public comment period when attendees will be able to speak or submit comments in writing. Public comments will be summarized and provided to the board of trustees and senior leadership for their consideration. This public meeting will present information found in the project's draft executive summary, which is available at the project website, www.KSUAirportPlan.com. The summary can also be viewed at the Stow-Munroe Falls Public Library, located at 3512 Darrow Road in Stow and at the Kent State University Airport, located at 4020 Kent Road in Stow.
Written comments will be accepted through Aug. 12 and may be submitted online via the project's website, www.KSUAirportPlan.com, or sent via mail to Aileen Maguire Meyer, C&S Engineers, Inc., 20445 Emerald Parkway, Suite 100, Cleveland 44135. Those unable to attend the meeting can view the meeting materials via the project website after the meeting has concluded.
In 2004, the airport completed a master plan, which was then updated in 2006. At that time, the university was considering closing the airport and moving operations to another nearby airport. University leaders are now reassessing the recommendations of the previous plan, and a new plan is required to take a fresh look at the airport's assets and determine its needs.
Kent State has owned the public-use, general aviation airport since 1942 and uses the facility to support its Aeronautics Program, one of 32 accredited aviation education programs worldwide. The airport is a critical asset for the Aeronautics Program, which serves students in five areas of concentration under the bachelor of science degree in aeronautics. Due in part to the increase in demand for airline pilots, the forecast for enrollment for Kent State's Aeronautics Program saw its program grow 150 percent from 2005 to 2012 and now expects enrollment to grow from its current 638 students to more than 1,100 by 2022.
Kent State's Flight Training Program is the only one of its kind, not only in Ohio but in the Northeastern U.S. region, and the cost to students is affordable when compared to similar programs.
The airport is a significant economic driver locally, supporting not only the university's Aeronautics Program, but also local businesses, community services and private pilots.
The new master plan must take into account how the airport can best serve the needs of all members of the community.
For more information about the development of the master plan, visit www.KSUAirportPlan.com.