Blue Ash Airport in Danger of Closing

Historic airport may close as early as this summer.

Blue Ash Airport
Blue Ash Airport
Blue Ash Airport

The Blue Ash Airport (KISZ) outside Cincinnati, Ohio, will close this summer, if the city of Cincinnati has its way. In a statement issued on March 8, city manager Milton Doheny revealed that “the city administration is providing notice to the FAA, the city of Blue Ash, and the current Blue Ash airport tenants and users that it is our intent to close the airport in no less than 90 days.”

Doheny’s statement justifies the closure based on the increasing cost of keeping the airport maintained and the revenue reduction that has resulted from a decrease in the number of operations. The statement also claims the FAA denied grant requests from the city of Cincinnati and Blue Ash for airport improvements.

AOPA's Director of Media Relations Benét Wilson said the city of Cincinnati is planning on selling the airport property and using the funds for a new streetcar system, which is a violation of law since it redirects aviation funds previously provided by the government for non-aviation purposes. "AOPA will continue to work to ensure that the city doesn't divert the revenue from an airport sale toward non-aviation purposes," Wilson said.

AOPA’s Vice President of Advocacy Bill Dunn, who serves as the primary line of defense against America’s threatened airports said: “AOPA is extremely disappointed with the city of Cincinnati’s withdrawal of support for this important general aviation airport and its economic contributions to the community it serves.”

While the future looks grim for Blue Ash, the fight is not over yet. Doheny's statement said the city of Blue Ash has 60 days to make an offer to purchase the remaining airport property. Blue Ash recently purchased 130-acre parcel of land west of the runway from the city of Cincinnati on which it plans to build a new multi-purpose park and recreation facility. And it appears Blue Ash is in favor of keeping the 91-year-old airport. "We still support the idea of the Blue Ash Airport staying open. We have taken responsible, documented steps toward that end," said Mark Weber, mayor of the city of Blue Ash, in a guest column written in February of 2011 for Northeast Suburban Life.