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Callender, Fowler Arthur Provide Testimony on Legislation to Enact the Airspace Protection Act

April 9, 2024
Republican Newsroom

COLUMBUS- The House Aviation and Aerospace Committee today began hearings on House Bill 185, legislation that will reform Ohio’s classification and regulation framework around airports, heliports, vertiports, and spaceports. The bill is sponsored by State Representatives Jamie Callender (R-Concord) and Sarah Fowler Arthur (R-Ashtabula).

House Bill 185 will update Ohio’s permitting laws for tall structures to ensure that navigable airspace and future expansion of airports are not hindered by new construction. 

Under current law, any entity constructing a building over 200 feet must first be determined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to not be an obstruction to an airport. If the building is an obstruction, it must receive a Determination of No Hazard to be approved. Any project that receives a Determination of No Hazard must also get a permit from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT), which works with the impacted airport to assess the potential effects of the project. 

“The current process to approve new construction is cumbersome and does not serve airports, businesses, or the taxpayers well,” said Callender. “House Bill 185 will streamline the approval process to enable faster approval, greater regulatory consistency, and protect the viability of all of Ohio’s airports.”

House Bill 185 will implement the following:

Ensure Ohio’s airspace remains friendly and competitive;
Protect local zoning with state and federal air space regulatory approval for tall structures that account for the local economic impact of tall structure development;
Ensure due process for local projects and potential aviation hazards through streamlining of State and federal approval processes; and
Ensure that ODOT and the FAA work together when addressing air space planning for the growing field of aviation, both manned and unmanned.

“Throughout history, Ohio has been a leader in aviation,” said Fowler Arthur. “To once again become the center of the aerospace industry, we must act now to establish an airport and airspace permitting process that prioritizes safety, airport operability, and business development.”

House Bill 185 awaits further consideration by the committee.