Friday, October 24, 2014

Aircraft, Ottawans flock to fly-in

By CLINTON DICK, Herald Staff Writer | 7/22/2013

The future is looking up at Ottawa Municipal Airport, Jack Miller said.

And the chairman of the airport’s advisory board said he and other leaders have big plans for its growth.

The future is looking up at Ottawa Municipal Airport, Jack Miller said.

And the chairman of the airport’s advisory board said he and other leaders have big plans for its growth.

During the first ever fly-in and open house Saturday morning at the Ottawa airport, 2178 Montana Road, Miller said he wants to continue to build on both the airport and the show.

“We are looking in to extending our 5,100-foot runway and maybe even someday bringing a restaurant out here like the Miami County airport has,” Miller, Ottawa, said. “Maybe [for the fly-in] we could have a full-blown air show with aerobatics teams and skydivers. These are all future things though.”

Saturday’s fly-in featured several aircraft making the trip to the airport throughout the morning. Miller coordinated the pilots’ and their aircraft’s landings. People were then welcome to look at the planes as they sat parked at the airport. Most of the crafts were from Ottawa, Gardner and several surrounding communities.

Miller said the original idea for a fly-in came to him some time ago when he first joined the board. When the board decided to play host to the event, Miller sent out the invites.

“I invited certain airports specifically,” Miller said. “I also put it up on the AOPA [Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association] website.”

Twenty-one participants flew in — enough to make the event a success, Miller said.

“We were very satisfied,” Miller said. “[With the fly-in] getting started as slow as it did due to the weather, we thought the event was very successful.”

The purpose of the fly-in was to raise awareness in the community of the airport and what it does, Miller said.

“We looked at aviation issues related to the airport and the community,” Miller said. “Going through town and talking to people, I was surprised at how many people didn’t know we had an airport. We decided to have a small event so people could come out and tour the facility. It is theirs, after all.”

Several hundred members of the community viewed the aircraft on display, as well as toured the airport building and hanger. About 320 people were served breakfast Saturday morning, catered by Chris Cakes of Louisburg, Andy Haney, Ottawa public works director, said.

Miller said he hopes the fly-in will become an annual event.

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