Jetport marks its first full year
by JOYANNA LOVE Banner Senior Staff Writer
Jan 30, 2014 | 778 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Cleveland Regional Jetport staff had reason to celebrate this month as the jetport marked its first full year of operation.

The Cleveland Municipal Airport Authority celebrated the anniversary during its monthly meeting. A more public celebration will be held with an open house during the spring.

“It’s been a dream for a lot of people in the community to have a safe and adequate airport,” said Airport Authority chair Lou Patten. “I think the first year has exceeded expectations.”

He said the jetport would be an asset to the community for many years.

“We are very happy at the completion of our first year,” said jetport director of operations Mark Fidler.

Patten said the facility may partner with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation to offer military helicopter rides during the event.

An official date is yet to be announced.

Days after the facility’s first birthday, Fidler announced the runway would be expanded beyond the 500-foot extension initially planned for the orignal 5,500-foot runway.

“When we revised our initial plan to add 500 feet, we decided if we were going to have the people out for 500, we might as well go all the way we can,” Fidler said.

The extension will be 700 feet, bringing the total runway length to 6,200 feet.

Fidler said this is he longest runway the facility can have due to space and Federal Aviation Administration guidelines.

The additional length is being added to accommodate larger business jets carrying multiple passengers.

Cleveland Mayor Tom Rowland made a special presentation to the Airport Authority during its meeting. Framed documents telling of early aviation in Cleveland and an airmail document from the 1930s were presented. Fidler said the documents will be on display at the jetport. Emmett Field was one of the early airports in Cleveland history. Rowland said he had spoken to the city historian and was trying to locate the exact location of the former airport. City historian Bill George is researching the topic, but has yet to give a definitive answer. Rowland believes it might have been near Emmett Avenue, but he does not have proof other than the name.

Th Airport Authority is also discussing the possibility of having Gotham Dream Cars come to the jetport. The company gives people the chance to experience exotic sports cars in a specialized course. Fidler said the track could set up on the 9-acre tarmac. The company would pay a fee of about $2,500 to the jetport, and then charge riders to use the track. The Airport Authority heard a presentation by Gotham Dream Cars at its last meeting.