Airport prepares to move jet to museum


By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News



NEW KNOXVILLE – The Auglaize County Airport Authority met Tuesday, Jan. 11, to discuss how to use new federal infrastructure funding, the Armstrong Lear jet move and plans for a 2022 repeat of the Fly Me To The Moon 5-K run.

With the airport set to received $295,000 in Bipartisan Infrastructure funds annually for five years, the group discussed how to use the funding. One idea was a new 10 slot “T” hangar building which was estimated would cost $60,000 per unit along with $100,000 to do all the concrete, electrical and apron work. Airport Manager Ted Bergstrom will contact Baumer Construction for a quote since the contractor recently completed a similar project at Lakefield airport in Mercer County.

Neil Armstrong Museum representatives Dante Centori and Will Snyder updated the status on the Lear jet move from the airport to the Neil Armstrong Museum in Wapakoneta. At this point, they hope to have the jet installed at the new location by the 50th anniversary of the Museum on July 20, 2022. In order to meet that goal, the two men reported they had raised $150,000 of the $200,000 needed to have the jet re-painted to the original 1971 color scheme on the plane when Armstrong flew it for five world records. The funding would also be used to construct the pedestal on the museum grounds and for transportation from the airport to the museum. They added that they are also raising a $100,000 endowed maintenance fund for ongoing care and preservation.

Bergstrom said that he is in discussions with Roadrunner Enterprises (the 5K to begin planning a reprise of the Fly To The Moon 5K. He said that they are looking at the same weekend time frame of June 11, 2022.

Jason Clearwaters, airport consultant for BF&S, said on Jan. 6 the grant to repair airport aprons was submitted, estimated to amount to $393,000 with 90% reimbursement, a 5 % local match and 5% from the airport. It is to be done in seven phases so that the airport remains open at all times. Clearwaters said he plans to advertise for bids by March 15, with contractors having 21 days to respond.

Bergstrom also told the ACAA that a promissory letter was requested by The Dexter Company to hold the broom price quoted back in 2021. It is still planned that the broom will be delivered at the same times as the new John Deere 6110M Tractor. It is currently estimated the delivery will be the end of July.

The airport manager said Prenger Implements will be performing a recall replacement of the floor mat inside the Kubota UTV. The national recall is related to the separation of the floor mat around the accelerator pedal. He said the airport’s Kubota mat was not in bad of shape, but was required to be replaced.

Bergstrom told the group that the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award celebration event was a success, with approximately 50 people attending. Paul Gillenwater from the Columbus FAA came to present the award. Secretary of State LaRose’s has also commemorated the achievement with a proclamation from his office.

The airport manager also said that the depredation permit renewal process is ongoing. Deer sightings on wildlife cameras occurring still between midnight and 6am.

In other action, the ACAA approved starting the process to renew a 3 year airport general operations insurance policy with Burke Insurance.

Finance Manager Mark Howe said fuel sales were up substantially from the same time last year. For example, year-to-date December 2021 sales of 100LL fuel were $91,923, up $31,128 from the same time last year. Jet-A fuel sales in 2021 were $248,005, up $133,902 from 2020 totals. Total operating income in 2021 was $512,896, up $169,206 from 2020. Total expenses at this time were $272,576, up by $68,676. As a result, Howe reported a total net position increase of $40,158, down by $68,658.

New committees were selected for 2022. They were Gene Will and Brad Smith for the Audit committee, John Bergman and Gene Will for the Zoning committee, and Rick Haines, Brent Richter and Sara Topp for the Hangar committee.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.