Thursday, September 07, 2000

Lunken charter jet firm backs off threat to leave

Meeting of minds with neighbors

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A week after threatening to take 170 jobs to another county or state, Executive Jet Management says it will stay at Lunken Airport.

        Company officials said Wednesday a compromise has been reached with residents near the airport, who have agreed not to fight the charter jet company's expansion.

        “Executive Jet has given significant concessions,” company spokeswoman Kathy Tyler said. “We want to be a good neighbor.”

        As part of the agreement, which must be approved by Cin cinnati City Council, Executive Jet will not service 737s at its new facility and will not test airplane engines after hours.

        Company officials would only make commitments for the new facility and did not deny its subsidiary companies would still land 737s at Lunken using other facilities.

        In return, members of the Lunken Neighborhood Coalition — which formed in response to noise and growth concerns — will not oppose Executive Jet's waiver from a development moratorium imposed on the airport last month by the City Council.

        The moratorium, approved Aug. 2, was supposed to last 30 days or until an oversight board was created to monitor airport operations.

        “This is a neighborhood airport and we want to keep it a neighborhood airport,” said Councilman Phil Heimlich, who moderated a four-hour meeting between residents and Executive Jet.

        “The people who live in the neighborhood are entitled to be free of excess noise.”

        In addition to lifting the moratorium, council will be asked to approve an 18-month study of noise levels that could lead to daily flight restrictions.

        “If the airport is put through a process whereby airport-wide restrictions are put down across the board, we will not contest them,” Ms. Tyler said.


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