Brown, Vance Join Push for Primary Airport Designation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and J.D. Vance introduced legislation Friday to designate Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport as a primary airport.

The designation would allow the Vienna Township airport to access funding from the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airport Improvement Program, which provides grants for the planning and development of public-use airports. The airport lost commercial air service in 2018, resulting in the FAA reducing its annual maintenance funding.

The legislation is companion legislation to a bill introduced last week by U.S. Reps. Bill Johnson of Marietta, R-6th, and David Joyce of Bainbridge Township, R-14th. The airport is the only airport that has an Air Reserve Station but does not have active commercial air service.

“Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is strategically located for Youngstown-area businesses and visitors to easily access the greater northeast Ohio region and highlights how important the Mahoning Valley is to our state and our economy,” Brown, D-Ohio, said in a news release announcing the legislation.

“This designation would improve the efficiency and affordability of the airport so it can serve as a reliable option for air travelers in the Mahoning Valley and supporting our national defense through the presence of the Youngstown Air Reserve Station,” he added.

“The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and Youngstown Air Reserve Station have an extremely positive impact on the Mahoning Valley, and I was grateful for the opportunity to see that first-hand during my visit earlier this year,” Vance, R-Ohio, said. “With this designation, our bill would allow the airport to improve service and expand their capabilities. I’m proud to support this bipartisan proposal.”

Anthony Trevena, executive director of Western Reserve Port Authority, welcomed the support from the two senators for the designation, which would “significantly boost” growth and development at the airport.

“I am confident that this important step will not only enhance our airport’s capabilities but also create substantial economic opportunities for the entire region. We are committed to working closely with our local partners, communities and businesses to ensure the airport’s continued success and positive impact on the Mahoning Valley,” he said.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.