Airport begins preparations for 2024 solar eclipse

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW KNOXVILLE — The Auglaize County Airport Authority (ACAA) met at the Neil Armstrong Airport Tuesday, Sept. 13, to hear airport finances continue to surpass 2021 income levels. The group also learned more about several upcoming events, including a solar eclipse party in 2024.

ACAA treasurer Mark Howe reported that financial statements for August 2022 had a net position increase of $9,629.80, an increase of $6,710.63 from compared to August 2021 figures. For example, he said, while 100 low lead fuel sales were down $2,122 at $10,646, Jet A fuels sales were up $18,503 at $49,494. Total operating income was $77,77,194, up by $19,287 while total expenses were $17699, down by $357.

As to year-to-date figures, Howe said while 100 low lead fuel sales were $58,046, down by $4,104, Jet A fuel sales were $229,586, up by $70,224.

Airport manager Ted Bergstrom told the ACAA about four events coming to the airport.

On Sept. 17, the women’s aviation group The 99s will hold their regional chapter meeting at the new terminal. The mission of The 99s is to promote the advancement women in aviation through education, scholarships and mutual support.

On Sept. 24, the Experimental Aircraft Association will hold a pancake breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Bergstrom said the airport will provide a 40-square-foot tent and seating for 100 that day.

On Oct. 7, the Auglaize County History Society will hold heritage event at the airport from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. He said the historical group plans to showcase the county’s methods of transportation, have a tour of the airport, raffle off an airplane ride, and have a discussion with mural artist Kurt Doll.

In regards to the April 8, 2024, solar eclipse, Bergstrom said the Ohio Emergency Management Agency has assembled a high level plan for the entire state. He said EMA spoke with Kentucky and Tennessee after the 2017 solar eclipse and those state’s lessons learned.

He said they recommended viewing glasses should be purchased from specific approved vendors.

Also, the EMA said parking plans for the 2024 event should incorporate typical spring soil conditions, which may severely limit parking opportunity for cars and aircraft.

It was agreed that attending the airport event would have to be by reservation, with the airport closed during that period.

The total solar eclipse is expected to start at 2 p.m., be a full eclipse at 3 p.m. for over 3 minutes, and be over by 4 p.m.

Airport manager Ted Bergstrom presented to the ACAA the proposed 2023 airport budget, which is similar to last year’s budget.

In other action, he said Hangar F was waiting to have its bathroom toilet and vanity installed. The wood wall finish delivery is delayed. Additional renovation discussion occurred between Todd Schaub and the Airport Manager.

Phase 2 and 3 of the ODOT Ramp Project is complete and Phase 4 is wrapping up by Thursday. He said consultant BF&S and airport personnel completed a walk around on Sept. 13, with no additional punch list items found.

Finally, the seal coat at Hangar J parking lot done by Taylor Paving & Striping was completed.

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.