Jon Stinchcomb Port Clinton News Herald
Local airport recognized for General Aviation Appreciation Month, preps for Santa landing
December 9, 2021
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  • Ohio, home of aviation pioneers Wilbur and Orville Wright, recently proclaimed December as “General Aviation Appreciation Month” to recognize the importance of the industry across the state, leading many local community leaders to follow suit.

    Port Clinton Mayor Mike Snider, as well as both the Ottawa and Erie county commissioners, made similar proclamations regarding the vital role general aviation plays locally, especially with the Erie-Ottawa International Airport, one of the areas busiest, in close proximity at 3255 E. State Rd. in Port Clinton.

    According to Clay Finken, director of the Erie-Ottawa International Airport, KPCW, the local proclamations echoed the Ohio House resolution recognizing “General Aviation Appreciation Month” in December.

    “Ohio’s long and illustrious history with aviation stretches all the way back to the very first powered airplanes constructed by Dayton’s Wright brothers and includes countless innovators and accomplishments since,” the resolution stated. “It is only fitting that we take the time to recognize the impact this industry has had on our state.”

    It also noted that the industry is responsible for more than 17,000 jobs and generated $1.8 billion for the state, becoming “a pillar of the economic fabric of Ohio.”

    Finken described the Erie-Ottawa International Airport as a key to Ohio’s aviation history, especially at the local level, where it makes a “robust economic impact.”

    The airport supports a total of 198 jobs and contributes over $18 million to the local economy. Though it has just 1.8 miles of runway, he said it connects the community to the rest of the world.

    “The support of both counties and our incredible community remains the cornerstone of the airport’s continued success,” Finken said. “We are thankful for this recognition and the continuing opportunity to share and support general aviation in our community.”

    According to the Liberty Aviation Museum, Santa is flying in by plane on Dec. 12 instead of his sleigh, so that his reindeer are well rested for the big night of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.
    One visitor from the northernmost part of the world will be landing at KPCW soon for a stay at the neighboring Liberty Aviation Museum, 3515 E. State Road.

    On Dec. 12, Mr. and Ms. Claus are expected to fly in at approximately 10 a.m. and will be hanging around until about 1 p.m.

    According to the Liberty Aviation Museum, Santa is flying in by plane instead of his sleigh, so his reindeer are well rested for the big night of Christmas Eve, Dec. 24.

    Children will be able to meet with Santa, share their Christmas lists, take photos and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies.

    Young aviation enthusiasts will be admitted to the museum free with an accompanying adult paid admission during the event. Children must remain accompanied by an adult while in the museum.