Airport Support Group Purpose
The purpose of the Cattaraugus County-Olean Airport Support Group, formed in 2005, is to act as a driving, unified and proactive advisory force to ensure promotion of the airport as a key area resource, the upgrade of general facilities maintenance and execution of an ongoing capital improvement program. Specific areas of focus include:
- Acting as a facilitator between the county, the city, airport users and airport supporters, providing continuous open channels of communication.
- Aggressively educating the county, city and public at large, providing accurate and factual information regarding the importance of the airport to the entire area.
- Providing technical support to the city and airport staff in selection and prioritization of general facilities maintenance, equipment upgrades and capital improvements.
- Providing technical assistance to the city in acquisition of federal, state, county and private funding.
- Advising and assisting the city, jointly with the Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce (GOACC), with promotional advertising and organizing airport promotional events – air shows, fly-ins, open houses, tourism literature, Web site design, etc.
About the ASG
The cliché “strength in numbers” may never have had greater significance than when a group of local pilots, radio-control enthusiasts, and interested business promoters united to research the lack of growth and promotion of the Cattaraugus/Olean Airport, located on Hatch Hill Road in Ischua, New York. The problems exhibited at the local airport were indeed not unique to the Olean and Cattaraugus County area. The myth that smaller airports exist solely for a select rich few illustrated that the community as a whole did not understand that the airport serves the entire community, and that restrictions and lack of support would have far-reaching economic consequences on the entire area. Understanding this, members of the local support group began to informally research and analyze the many deficiencies that existed in the operation and support of the local facility. A variety of approaches ensued. Some members investigated present costs, available grants and other potential sources of financial aid. Daily logs (and pictures) were obtained in order to provide evidence of current use of the facility. Contacts were established with Federal, State, and local governmental officials, seeking their assistance and guidance. Following many hours of research, meetings, and informal discussions, the group organized their findings into a power-point presentation and began the task of “informing the community”. The first formal presentation of the group’s findings was to members of the City of Olean Common Council. With the aid of a well prepared and presented “power-point” demonstration, detailed explanations, and a scrapbook of aircraft currently using the facility, the members of the Council accepted the information with a degree of surprise and enthusiasm. From that point, with the endorsement of the Council, members of the support group requested (and were granted) permission from the Cattaraugus County Legislature to provide a similar presentation to its’ entire membership. With the two presentations, the support group had successfully begun the difficult task of “informing the public” that the Cattaraugus/Olean Airport was, is, and must remain a valuable resource for the economy of the entire area. In the ensuing two plus years, many positive acts have occurred. “The group” has formally organized, adapted by-laws, elected a slate of officers, and has, in conjunction with the Southern Tier Aero Radio Society (rcstars.org), become active in promoting an annual open house, air show, fly-in breakfast, and other related activities designed to publicize the airport and its’ value to the area. Most importantly, through the encouragement of the ASG, a total remodeling of the airport facilities is currently underway, and a new ramp, security fencing, and parking facility are approved and expected to be completed by October, 2007. Meanwhile, members of the ASG remain active in creating and carrying out a variety of additional activities designed to promote the use and usefulness of the airport facility. The Airport Support Group continues to be a determinant and positive force in promoting assured success for Cattaraugus/Olean Airport.