With the Air National Guard’s 178th Fighter Wing no longer supporting air traffic control operations and fire-fighting services at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport after Sept. 30, the city of Springfield, Ohio, is planning to spend $760,000 to keep those functions running in the first year without the guard’s flying mission.
The Federal Aviation Administration is chipping in $350,000 and the Greater Springfield Port Authority has pledged $200,000, but the decision still is a gamble as to whether the airport can attract new uses to offset the cost, reports the Springfield News-Sun. Topping the city’s wish list is a C-17 Globemaster mission from the Air Force and establishing a base for the military or the private sector to fly unmanned aerial vehicles.
The city considers the funds an investment in the future, with the hope that it can recover its costs down the road. The city will recoup some of the cost through a right-of-way land sale.
“The airport is a huge economic development tool and it has great potential for job growth,” Springfield City Manager Jim Bodenmiller told the paper. “The whole purpose of this is to bring additional jobs to the community.”