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Education


Future of Kent State airport being studied
Part of new master plan, the first since 2004
by WKSU's KABIR BHATIA


Reporter
Kabir Bhatia
 
In The Region:
The future of the Kent State University airport is being studied for the second time in a decade. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.
Future of Kent State airport being studied

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In 2006, the university was considering closing the airport on Rt. 59 in Stow, a half mile from the Fishcreek Rd. intersection. The FAA said no, citing $3.9 million it had given Kent State for improvements. But the closure plan is still on the table as the school takes a fresh look at the future in changing economic times.

Kent State spokesman Eric Mansfield says the school’s aeronautics program, one of 32 in the country, will remain.

“The curriculum is certainly important to more than 500 students who study in the aeronautics program. And to have that facility available as part of the university, of course, is a big draw. It’s also something that’s been accessible to local pilots. But the program will continue regardless.”

The 287-acre airport was used as a landing field in World War I before Kent State bought it in 1947. It has sometimes been a bone of contention for nearby residents in Stow, who believe aircraft are too noisy or fly too low. But Stow Mayor Sarah Drew told the Akron Beacon Journal that the airport is an asset to her city.

Syracuse-based C & S Consultants will conduct public meetings and develop a proposal for the Kent State trustees and the FAA in the next 18 months. A website, ksuairportplan.com, will keep the public updated.
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