Skydiving headquarters or aviation maintenance hub? Middletown wrestles with airport's future

Posted at 10:32 PM, Oct 09, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-10 12:04:45-04

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio -- City government is currently in the process of deciding whether to expand the Middletown Regional Airport into an aviation education and maintenance hub or keep it as the main headquarters for the Fastrax Skydiving Team

Skydiver John Hart has traveled the world to perform stunts that range from carrying the largest American flag ever flown under a parachute to shooting fireworks off of his legs. 

"There's just…there's nothing else like it, man." Hart said.

For more than a decade, the team and its skydiving school has been located at the Middletown Regional Airport. This year, however, the team's lease is up for renewal, and the city is questioning how to move forward. 

Middletown officials denied a request for an interview until after a decision about the airport is made, but City Manager Doug Adkins told WCPO partner The Journal-News the city is wrestling with whether it should accommodate a large skydiving operation or focus on attracting new business as an airport maintenance hub. 

Hart believes they can do both.

"I think things can all work out together," Hart said. "I just think communication needs to take place."

Officials with the City of Middletown said they were still in the process of gathering information. The airport's master plan doesn't have to be finalized until January.