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Legislation Would Designate YNG/YARS as a ‘Primary Airport’

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Reps. Tim Ryan, D-13 Ohio, and Bill Johnson, R-6 Ohio, introduced legislation Thursday that would lead to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport (YNG) and Youngstown Air Reserve Station (YARS) being designated as a primary airport.

The legislation seeks to designate any airport in use by an air reserve station as a “primary airport,” according to a press release. Currently, YNG is the only commercial airport in the country with an air reserve station that doesn’t have commercial air service.

Upon losing commercial air service in 2018, the Federal Aviation Administration significantly reduced the annual maintenance funding at the airfield. As a result, YNG faces significant and increasing challenges to maintain its infrastructure for current users, including the 910th Airlift Wing, corporate, charter and general aviation users.

“The Youngstown Warren Regional Airport is an economic driver here in the Mahoning Valley. This designation would bolster the important role it serves in our region and further protect our airbase while ensuring the men and women who work and serve there have access to the infrastructure necessary to do their jobs efficiently and safely,” Ryan said in a statement. “I’m grateful to partner with Congressman Johnson on this important legislation that would accelerate economic growth in the Valley and improve Ohioans’ quality of life.”

The legislation would amend title 49, United States Code, to direct the FAA to include a public airport in use by an air reserve station as a primary airport, Johnson said.

“The Western Reserve Port Authority and local officials have been working as hard as ever to both maintain the airport, bring back commercial traffic, and support the mission of the 910th Airlift Wing,” Johnson said. “Designation as a primary airport will go a long way in helping with these goals, and this new approach, if successful, would greatly benefit the airport and region.”

“The Western Reserve Port Authority is grateful for the efforts of Congressmen Johnson and Ryan in recognizing the vital role Youngstown Warren Regional Airport plays as a partner in United States military readiness efforts,” added Anthony Trevena, executive director of the port authority. “This critical amendment insures YNG will have the financial resources necessary for long term sustainability of our runways and other infrastructure needs.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio. Thursday, March 31, 2022.