Small Miami University airport to get new life with CVG deal

The Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport has developed a partnership and will be leasing the under used Miami University Airport to expand its use through innovation, attracting additional business traffic and general aviation and using the facility for training. The five-year lease has been approved by CVG and the Miami University Board of Trustees. The lease is also pending Federal Aviation Administration review and approval. CONTRIBUTED/MIAMI UNIVERSITY
The Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport has developed a partnership and will be leasing the under used Miami University Airport to expand its use through innovation, attracting additional business traffic and general aviation and using the facility for training. The five-year lease has been approved by CVG and the Miami University Board of Trustees. The lease is also pending Federal Aviation Administration review and approval. CONTRIBUTED/MIAMI UNIVERSITY

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Miami University are finalizing an agreement for CVG to operate the facility that Miami will continue to own.

Jessica Rivinius, Miami University’s director of news and media relations, said the agreement includes Miami continuing to own the single-runway airport and the 300 acres on which it is located off of Fairfield Road, about two miles west of downtown Oxford. She said CVG will manage and operate the facility, which will remain a general aviation airport.

“CVG will bring its business ‘know-how’ to manage airport operations day to day,” she said.

Rivinius said CVG’s Board of Directors recently approved the lese agreement, and Miami’s Board of Trustees gave its approval last November. She said the deal is for five years, renewable for five additional five-year terms.

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The agreement is pending approval by the Federal Aviation Administration, and Rivinius did not have a timeline for when that approval will be made.

She said commercial service is not planned for the facility, which has three buildings nearby, including hangars. It was built in the 1940s when flight was becoming more common and as other Ohio universities were doing the same.

The boards of CVG and Miami University have approved a five-lease in which CVG will operate and manage the university airport. The lease is awaiting review and approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. The taxiway (center bottom) leads to the airport's runway located about two miles west of Oxford.  CONTRIBUTED/MIAMI UNIVERSITY
The boards of CVG and Miami University have approved a five-lease in which CVG will operate and manage the university airport. The lease is awaiting review and approval by the Federal Aviation Administration. The taxiway (center bottom) leads to the airport's runway located about two miles west of Oxford. CONTRIBUTED/MIAMI UNIVERSITY

Seth Cutter, CVG director of communications, said airport officials started to develop an innovation team two years ago to work with educational institutions to develop further ties. He said about 18 months ago, CVG reached out to Miami to discuss its under-utilized airport and develop a partnership.

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“This venture would enable CVG to manage a general aviation airport, something that CVG has not done before,” Cutter said. “This will be a good learning opportunity to go into that.”

Cutter also said they are also looking at partnerships with others in the region.

“This will be a learning experience,” he said.

He said CVG’s vision also includes the airport being used as a testing site for autonomous vehicles, drones and other new technology.

Middletown Regional Airport has been developing partnerships with Butler Tech and Cincinnati State for education programs leading to aviation careers in the aviation for the past few years.

“This announcement is positive news for the Middletown Regional Airport,” said Chris Xeil Lyons, Middletown’s economic development director. “This confirms that our region is a prime location for the aerospace industry due to our access to skilled workforce and the industry’s best supply chain. We look forward to potential partnerships with CVG and our educational partners.”

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Miami officials said the airport’s few aircraft are based there and other aircraft stop to refuel and for other needs.

Officials said CVG will have an annual $84,000 lease payment, but over the first three years Miami will subsidize operations, with CVG receiving a net $36,000. After that, the hope is that CVG will have created enough revenue opportunities to forgo the university subsidy.