State Reps. Adam C. Miller (D-Columbus) and Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) recently introduced legislation that would create a competitive $15 million grant program for Ohio airports to attract additional international and domestic direct flights in the state.
“Ohio is home to many trailblazing cities already competing in the global marketplace, but other large cities like Indianapolis and Pittsburgh in our neighboring states have been aggressively attracting international flights,” said Rep. Miller. “Boosting state support for our airports to attract more international travel will not only spur our economic growth, diversity and inclusivity, but will allow us to better compete in the global marketplace.”
Under the bill, the Competitive Global Air Service Development Grant program would be created and administered by JobsOhio to provide support for minimum revenue guarantees and marketing assistance to air carriers for new domestic and international services in Ohio, with an emphasis on the European Union and Japanese destinations.
“Global markets require global businesses, and this legislation will give Ohio a leg up in that fight,” said Rep. Sweeney. “Cleveland is a world class city. To stay that way, we need to continue to do everything we can to attract businesses from across the globe to Northeast Ohio, and connect consumers to products made here at home. Encouraging more direct international flights to come to Ohio through this grant program will create jobs in my region, and simplify business travel in our state.”
According to the Ohio Aviation Association, Ohio’s airports support more than 120,000 jobs and have more than $13 billion economic output in the state.
However, John Glenn International Airport in Columbus offers no flights to Europe or Asia. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport recently discontinued all flights to Reykjavik, and offers no flights to the rest of Europe or Asia. Indianapolis offers a direct flight to Paris, and Pittsburgh offers direct flights to London and Frankfurt.