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Vista 1 bringing two jobs to airport

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  1. Vista 1 bringing two jobs to airport
  2. BOBWARREN. Daily Record [Wooster, Ohio] 21 July 2014: A.1.
  3.  
  4. WOOSTER -- Have you ever driven on Old Airport Road? Did you know the roadway once served as an actual runway?
  5.  
  6. Doug Deeken, president of the Wayne County Airport Authority, recently shared some history and insights into the airport.
  7.  
  8. It was started in the 1920s, when it had only grass runways. In the 1950s, it was paved. Today that runway is Old Airport Road. When it began, it was known as the Wooster Municipal Airport. There was also an airport in Orrville.
  9.  
  10. In the 1960s, the airport moved to its current location on North Honeytown Road, Smithville, and it has been known as the Wayne County Airport ever since.
  11.  
  12. The airport is a general aviation airport, which means there is no regularly scheduled passenger flights. However, the airport is used for medical flights (there are two MetroHealth System Life Flight helicopters based there); charter flights; pilot training; and private airplanes and jets.
  13.  
  14. Because of the runway length -- 5,191 feet and "We are proud of every inch" -- and instrument approaches, there is no air traffic control at the airport. It is basically, "See and avoid," Deeken said. However, the Akron-Canton Airport can provide pilots with radar service.
  15.  
  16. Deeken praised airport manager Dave Gipp and said he can arrange just about anything for airport visitors.
  17.  
  18. Just as Dunkin' Donuts is really a coffee shop dressed to look like a doughnut shop, the Wayne County Airport is really a fueling station, Deeken said. The airport is a Phillips 66-branded fueling station, and about 80 percent of its revenue comes from fuel.
  19.  
  20. Mid-Ohio Aviation is also located at the airport, and it provides charter flights and flight training, among other services.
  21.  
  22. There are a lot of business executives who come to this area on private airplanes and jets and land at the airport, Deeken said. "(The runway) is the most valuable mile of pavement in the county," he said.
  23.  
  24. Chris Vanderzyden asked Deeken about how the airport ended up the call letters KBJJ.
  25.  
  26. The Federal Aviation required the airport come up with call letters. Because it was in the United States, the first letter had to be a K, Deeken said. Not knowing what to do, the most active user of the airport was Ben James Johnson, so his initials became the call letters.
  27.  
  28. Bob Breeden wanted to know who held the title to the airport.
  29.  
  30. The Wayne County commissioners own the property, and they appoint members to the Airport Authority, the organization that oversees operations.
  31.  
  32. Ron Holtman inquired about whether there were any expansion projects planned.
  33.  
  34. Airport Authority members are hopeful at least one hangar a year can be built. "You either grow or wither," Deeken said.
  35.  
  36. Vista 1, a company that uses helicopters and lasers to inspect power lines, is bringing two helicopters and two jobs to the airport, and the equipment will be in a new hanger.
  37.  
  38. The Wayne County Community Improvement Corp. agreed to lend the Airport Authority $36,000 to make the necessary infrastructure upgrades to allow Vista 1 to come here.
  39.  
  40. Reporter Bobby Warren can be reached at 330-287-1639 or bwarren@the-daily-record.com. He is @BobbyWarrenTDR.
  41.  
  42. Credit: By BOBBY WARREN
  43.  
  44. Word count: 522
  45. Copyright The Daily Record Jul 21, 2014
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