Rickenbacker Study Highlighted at Columbus Metropolitan Club Forum

    July 15, 2019

    A Columbus Metropolitan Club (CMC) forum offered attendees the opportunity to hear more about the future of Rickenbacker International Airport and the communities surrounding it, including some of the recommendations of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s (MORPC’s) recently completed Rickenbacker Area Study.

    Home to the North American International Freight Center, Rickenbacker – located in the southern portion of the Columbus metropolitan area – is a global logistics hub in the center of North America’s population. It is one of the region’s most valuable economic assets, with a prominent intermodal hub for transferring freight between air, truck, and rail modes in the Central Ohio region. It has been a focus of both public- and private-sector investments over the past 30 years.

    Traditionally, MORPC studied only transportation roadway improvements to facilitate the movement of freight in the area. But with the recent study, MORPC, along with multiple stakeholders in the Rickenbacker area, took a more comprehensive look by focusing on transportation improvements as well as economic development incentives, workforce mobility, housing affordability factors, and energy.

    “One of the things that I was most impressed with – that I learned from projects in this area but also from the study – is how these communities work together.”
    MORPC Transportation & Infrastructure Development Director Thea Walsh

    The CMC panel discussion, led by MORPC Transportation & Infrastructure Development Director Thea Walsh, provided the opportunity for experts to discuss the benefits and challenges of Rickenbacker. The panel included:

    • Jeff Green – Finance Director and Assistant City Administrator, City of Groveport
    • Shannetta Griffin – Chief Commercial Officer, Columbus Regional Airport Authority
    • James Schimmer – Director of Economic Development and Planning, Franklin County
    “This is a cargo-dedicated airport surrounded by a logistics facility that has over 80 million square feet of space, and you only find that here in Central Ohio. The question is… how do we position that asset to become a long-term return for us?”
    Franklin County Director of Economic Development and Planning James Schimmer

    The Rickenbacker Area Study highlights how workforce mobility and the area’s overall quality of life can be improved. It is intended to guide the area’s growth potential over the next 10 to 20 years. Recommendations include infrastructure improvements in transportation, diversification of energy sources, and expansion of public fiber/broadband in area.

    The Rickenbacker Area Study findings and recommendations can be viewed in a story map format at morpc.org/rickenbackerstudy. The CMC forum in its entirety can be viewed here:

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