Cleveland Municipal Airport Manager Clay Dean gives an update on some of the projects completed recently, as well as future projects the airport hopes to consider.
Improvements and expansions of Cleveland Municipal Airport are moving along rapidly, with hangars filling up as fast as they are finished, according to Clay Dean, fixed base operator for the airport. Dean explained the progress of these projects at a monthly membership luncheon for the Greater Cleveland Chamber of Commerce on May 12.
When making Dean’s introduction as guest speaker at the luncheon, Chamber Board President J. Rice said the airport has been called the “best kept secret” in the Cleveland area, but the success of the busy airport makes it appear that the secret is out.
Dean took over as manager in December 2013, along with his wife Darline Dean. The airport received a fuel system shortly afterward.
One of the airport’s main issues remains crowding, which the airport worked to address with a new hangar project.
“The hangars were full before we moved in,” said Dean.
Another project completed for the airport is a new ventilation system.
Dean presented a video, which displayed some of the new changes made to the airport, including a new pavement job, drainage work and restriping.
The airport also has some room to expand, thanks to the Cleveland EDC, which gave the airport 11 acres.
Dean admits the airport is still in need of more hangar space, with 55 people on a waiting list to store their planes.
“There’s just not enough funds to build these things,” said Dean.
The airport hopes to achieve more space with creative alternatives. Two individuals approached Dean about creating private hangars, which can help alleviate some of the space.
“They said, you know what? If it helps the city we would certainly entertain that,” said Dean.
Dean says the airport is very beneficial to the city, as those who use it also engage in the local economy.
“They eat at the restaurants,” said Dean. “They buy their gas here.”
The airport also employs six pilots to perform angel flights in a program called Pilots for Patients. Pilots in this program fly cancer patients to M. D. Anderson for their cancer treatments before flying them back.
“They [the patients] can be with their families before the chemo makes them sick,” said Dean.
One such pilot is Cassie Campbell, who is one of the youngest pilots for the program at 20 years of age.
Dean thanked everyone who came to hear him speak and encouraged everyone to do their best with the responsibilities they are entrusted with and to bring honor and glory to God.
The chamber luncheon also included the presentation of a certificate of recognition and appreciation to Dr. Jasmine Sulaiman for being named Country Doctor of the Year.
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