County Airport Officials To Use $ 620,000 In Federal Money | News, Sports, Jobs
> The current Columbiana County Airport Authority board members stand on the airport taxiway on County Airport Road this week (front left) Tim Ohara, John Sayle, Joe Diloreto, ( from left) Frank Ungaro, Dan Thompson, Mike Diloreto and Jim Pusateri.
LIVERPOOL EAST – Nestled in the hills of Madison Township northwest of East Liverpool, Columbiana County Airport offers service to local flying enthusiasts and others coming to Columbiana County. But it wasn’t the first time the FAA had paid money for improvements to the county’s airport.
This year, the Columbiana County Airport Authority will receive $ 620,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States Department of Transportation to use for the rehabilitation of approximately 2,000 feet of existing Taxiway A and to maintain l structural integrity of the airport. Before any paving work, the fuel tanks must be moved in order to keep the airport in compliance with FFA regulations. Sayle said when he arrived there really wasn’t much and no one to operate the airport. He came from New York and rented space for his plane for $ 15. Over the years, they have rebuilt everything.
John Sayle retires with 42 years on the board after being appointed in 1979 and Joe Diloreto has spent over 20 years on the board. But the airstrip and airport facilities weren’t always what they are today and that’s in part thanks to the Columbiana County Airport Authority board members, two of whom members who retired in June with over 60 years of combined experience.
Sayle said the state of Ohio bought the airport in 1965 and it was just a grass runway. It was paved in 1968. “It’s a good airport authority,” said Sayle, “because everyone is a pilot. Everyone has the best interests of the airport at heart… a group of workers. We have it in great shape.
“The airport is important to Columbiana County,” Sayle said. “We’re always looking for business development… People looking to do their business don’t come by bus, they arrive by plane. If you don’t have an airport, you’re not even a candidate for companies looking for a place to locate. In the years up to 2013, Sayle said he had secured $ 3.86 million in funding for the construction and maintenance of the airport and over the past eight years another grant has been awarded almost every year. He thinks they’ve spent around $ 5 million on facilities over the years, with commissioners sometimes helping with additional matching funding for the grants they receive. At the time, the airport construction cost only $ 216,000, and the state of Ohio paid 50%, with the county paying the rest. Council members remember a time when there was no heating in the airport building and the windows were boarded up.
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