Our gole is to continue communicating the importance of the Lost Nation Airport to the people making the immediate and future decisions: Willoughby City Council and Lake County Commissioners. Also, communicate to everyone the existence of LNRAA and ask them to support us.
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The terminal building and control tower have been slated for demolition. We understand that the demolition will occur no later than August 1, but it could be sooner if the City so decides. Thanks to Larry Rohl, we are still able to meet at the airport in one of his offices in the main hangar.
We sent a letter to Mayor Anderson requesting updated financial statements on the airport. We received them in April from Ray Rogowski, City Finance Director. Trustee Gary Swanson is reviewing them, and will be asking for clarification of some issues. If you would like to see a copy please contact Gary at (440) 428-6464. If you have questions you would like submitted to Ray, please discuss with Gary. The main item shown in the statements is that the airport lost $114,185 in 1997, and the 1998 budget shows it should be down to a $38,845 loss. Revenues are projected to be about the same at $130,000 per year.
If you did not see the article on March 13th in the Lake County section of the Plain Dealer, it said that the FAA and the City of Willoughby had met to discuss the status of Cleveland Jet Center being converted to a sports complex and the desire of the City to locate a fire station on the airport. The article said the City and the FAA are close to an agreement to allow both. The Mayor said he expected Federal approval of both. No date was set for a final decision. The LNRAA trustees are opposed to any non-aviation use of LNN property, and we have been since the group's inception.
Jack Thorp sent a letter to the editor of AOPA Pilot concerning AOPA's new Airport Support Network. A copy is reproduced at the end of the NOTAMS if you didn't see it.
If you have any questions for the Trustees, please call or attend our next meeting, which will at 5pm on June 1st. We are meeting monthly and can use all the support we can get. Any comments you may have concerning the City's moves at the airport should be addressed in writing to the Mayor and Willoughby City Council, as they are the decisions-makers for all issues at the airport.
As last year, Young Eagles Day returns to Lost Nation. This event will be held on Saturday, June 13, 1998. This is a great event, and the local EAA Chapter 118 is looking for all the volunteers they can get. This event is for kids from 8-17 and is usually their first chance to get up in the air. If you are interested in volunteering as a pilot, please call Dick Hullihen at (440) 352-6989. You must be a member of the EAA National organization to be a volunteer pilot, and don't forget to bring your plane, too.
LNRAA currently has a cash balance of $4,479.14. For calendar year 1997, the organization took in $9,608 (including the value of donated office equipment), and we incurred expenses of $3,506. It's tax exempts status is pending with the Internal Revenue Service.
The case for supporting airports
AOPA's new Airport Support Network ("President's Position: Airport Support Network," February Pilot) is another example of AOPA's unwavering efforts to help educate AOPA members and support general aviation against the continuous onslaughts upon our airport network.
Our plight at Lost Nation Airport in Willoughby, Ohio, is very similar to what Phil Boyer described in his article. We are one of the many airports under attack, and when the politicians announced their plan to close Lost Nation in January 1997, we didn't even have an existing user group. We acted just as Boyer described, calling AOPA and asking what the association could do for us.
And it did a lot. Staff came to our support at every turn. But we should have been alert to our plight much sooner. The signs were all there. There was no political support for the airport; the 400 acres look more valuable as light industrial manufacturing than as a base for 70 airplanes.
If you fly out of your local field and you aren't a member of the user group, join. Get involved enough to lend some support because local airports need all the support they can get. If you don't have a user group, you'd better get one started. Complacency is a recipe for disaster.
Our battle is far from over at Lost Nation, and as I write this, our situation is far from certain. If you don't think that it can happen in your backyard, think again.