News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.

Greater Akron Chamber


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


The state of aviation in the state that claims to be its birthplace
Ohio is not alone but the size of its airports makes it more likely to feel the impact of airline mergers and aviation upheaval
by WKSU's STATEHOUSE BUREAU CHIEF KAREN KASLER


Reporter
Karen Kasler
 
United's decision to close the Cleveland hub is the latest sign of upheaval in the aviation industry nationwide.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

The closing of the United Airlines hub at Cleveland’s Hopkins International Airport has some wondering about the state of the aviation industry in Ohio. But Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports some think the “birthplace of aviation” is still a good place for the aviation business.

LISTEN: Aviation is the state that claims to be its birthplace

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:56)


The shutdown of the United hub is the latest in a series of bad aviation news in Ohio in the last decade or so.

  • In 2003, the mini-hub America West operated out of Port Columbus was downgraded.
  • In 2007, US Airways dismantled its hub in Pittsburgh, which had drawn passengers from eastern Ohio.
  • Four years later, the pullout of the cargo hauler DHL from Wilmington in southwest Ohio left thousands of people without jobs.
  • That same year – 2008 – Delta merged with Northwest, and the Delta hub in at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport was devastated, leaving an entire concourse vacant.

But Ohio is not alone
Lockwood Reynolds is an assistant professor of economics at Kent State University. 
“It feels like it’s an Ohio thing, because of Cincinnati and Pittsburgh being nearby and DHL. But don’t forget that 20 years ago, St. Louis lost its hub and there’s been other examples of this as well.”

Reynolds says this is part of the continuing remaking of the airline industry, which has been cutting back on its hubs. Mergers have cut the number of big airlines as well. And that’s cost Ohio, which has three good-size metro areas but no huge cities like Chicago or LA. And its airports haven’t been the biggest in the airlines’ hub and spoke networks.

Seth Young agrees.
 He heads up the Center for Aviation Studies at Ohio State University, and he says all this bad news over the years doesn’t mean Ohio isn’t a good place for the aviation business. 

“From an aviation industry perspective, Ohio is still very, very strong. The loss of air service deals with two areas. One – it speaks to the volatility of commercial airlines and their business decisions on where to set up shop. And it also has to deal with what the natural demand is for air transportation within the state and its major cities.”

Home-grown aviation companies
He notes that Ohio is home to GE Aviation, one of the largest suppliers of jet engines. And Ohio has the largest and second largest private aviation companies in the world, the fractional jet operators NetJets in Columbus and Flight Options in Cleveland. Young shares the optimism of community leaders in Cleveland that the United hub’s closing could be an opportunity.

“What hopefully happens is when a large legacy carrier divests itself of a lot of traffic, new entrants move in providing competition and new markets that the legacy carrier might not have served. So, while short-term is it painful to hear the news, we should all think of this as an opportunity for the next generation of aviation.”

But the way back after de-hubbing is long.

Some empty concourses
Since the loss of the America West mini-hub in 2003, Columbus has been rebuilding its passenger traffic. It fell for two years but rose for the three years after that, with one of the airport’s biggest years in 2007 with the startup of Skybus Airlines.

The recession grounded that small airline, and while the airport has recorded slight upticks, last year passenger traffic was at its lowest level in Columbus since 2009.

The Greater Cincinnati airport, which saw half its daily flights gone after the Delta-Northwest merger basically moved the hub to Detroit, says passenger traffic rose last year. And the airport has added some smaller carriers while maintaining its status as the only airport in a three-state region with direct flights to Europe.

But it ranks as one of the most expensive airports in the country in terms of airfares, and has fallen from nonstops to 129 destinations in 2004 to 47 now.

Meanwhile, smaller airports such as the ones in Dayton and Akron-Canton have been doing well. Akron-Canton  set passenger traffic records in 2011 and 2012 before dropping last year, and passenger traffic at the Dayton International Airport has been up for the last three years for which stats were reported.

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Brunswick will turn tornado sirens back on after bad weather
Put the sirens back after the storms, in the mean time just sit and wait for another tornado . That's Brunswick for you lived here 44 years and it has always be...

Oberlin council may rescind its gun ban, but is considering alternatives to keep it in effect
Seems that the only scared, paranoid people are the anti-gun people, really.

Massive pipeline planned to pump Ohio shale products to Texas
This needs stopped. Ohioans pay the price, putting up with pollution, leaks, explosions, and the top one percent profit from exporting fracked product to China.

National Weather Service confirms three tornado touchdowns yesterday
I was driving back from a party and was caught in the middle of a large thunderstorm. The hail and lightning were a whole light closer than usual, is something ...

Another Indians season opens with Chief Wahoo under scrutiny
The picture you have for Robert rocha is not him. He has long hair. No idea who that guy is in that picture

Portman predicts McDonald's confirmation, but says it won't be easy
I sent the following note to Senator Blumenthal after reading commentary from yesterday's hearing: Senator, You certainly have the right to ask Mr. McDonald que...

Seven minutes changed everything, but what changed Ashford Thompson?
He shot the guy four times in the head. I have never been that drunk or mad, and I have been through it. Shoot a guy once is bad, maybe a mistake, shoot a guy f...

First cricket farm in the U.S. opens in Youngstown
I am interested in cricket flour to replace soy flour in a low carbohydrate diet. As soon as you have cricket flour available for the average person, please le...

New process starts digesting sludge in Wooster
Awesome! When do our sewage rates decrease accordingly?

Copyright © 2014 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University