Republican Lawmaker Says Multi-Billion Dollar Airports Project Will Make State's Economy Soar
A Republican state lawmaker says companies have left Ohio because of a lack of access to air travel. He says Ohio can bring back jobs and more flights by building two new regional hub airports, one in the southwest and one in the northeast.
Rep. Jim Butler (R-Oakwood) wants to build airports at I-71 near Xenia and on I-80 just north of Ravenna. He says Ohio has the population to support hubs like Dallas/Ft. Worth and Atlanta have, but none of Ohio’s existing airports are within an hour’s drive of 3.5 million people, which he says a regional hub needs to be profitable. Butler admits it’s an expensive project - about $15 billion. “We’re not speculative, because the way they’re funded, no money for construction is spent until the airline says we’re going to make this our hub,” Butler said.
Butler also wants to add rail service between the major cities and the regional airports. He says federal money won’t be easy to get, but says he hopes President Trump will like this because it’s a big idea.