Two international leaders in flight – Ohio-based companies NetJets and FlightSafety International (FSI) – jointly announced a six-figure commitment to the non-profit Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) through an investment totaling $225,000.
Once completed, OAS will recognize NetJets as the presenter of its “Founders Walk,” a series of exterior public displays showcasing the original terminal’s historical significance and key leaders responsible for its creation. FSI will be the named presenter of two flight simulator stations.
The museum is in the middle of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar fundraising campaign to renovate the original Port Columbus air terminal and tower into its home. The joint gift from NetJets and FSI will be used to unlock $550,000 with a state matching grant, allowing OAS to begin construction on phase one of its plan.
The 12,000-square-foot, three-story structure, dedicated in 1929 and on the National Register of Historic Places, is located on the southeast corner of John Glenn International Airport (CMH).
NetJets, the world’s largest private jet company, was founded at the airport in 1964 as Executive Jet Aviation and initially headquartered in Port Columbus Hangar One, located several hundred feet from the original terminal. Co-founder, the late Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr., will ultimately be among the individuals honored at OAS.
FSI, the world’s premier professional aviation training company and supplier of flight simulators, will be recognized as the named presenter of two flight simulator stations planned for OAS, with each station featuring a pair of simulators.
One station will be available to the public among the first-floor OAS exhibits and displays featuring air and space pioneers from the state of Ohio. The second station will serve the aviation-themed Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (AvSTEAM) youth learning center housed on the second floor of the OAS. As part of its support, FSI will further assist OAS in the selection and operation of the simulators.
The Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission of highlighting the state’s men and women pioneers of flight, using their colorful legacies to help develop the skilled workforce and inspire the future innovation essential to keeping Ohio a leader in technology and aerospace.
The phase one goal of the OAS capital campaign is to commence renovation of the terminal in 2022. Upon completion, phase two will follow, raising additional funds to fully complete the project and OAS staffing, operations, and programming needs.
OAS Executive Director Ron Kaplan said, “On behalf of our Board of Trustees and our many donors and partners providing early support to this worthy project, I thank global industry leaders NetJets and FlightSafety International for their robust commitment to our vital mission. We look forward to working closely with them to educate the aviation leaders of the future and ensure Ohio’s dominance in the world of aviation and aerospace.”
“We appreciate the opportunity to invest in the Ohio Air & Space organization and hopefully help inspire the next generation of leaders in aviation—right here in our hometown,” said Adam Johnson, NetJets, Chairman and CEO.