Airport receives essential piece of equipment to help increase jet traffic

| June 14, 2019

The Coshocton Port Authority and the Coshocton Foundation recently worked together to help the Richard Downing Airport purchased a Ground Power Unit. Pictured are Tiffany Swigert, executive director of the Coshocton Port Authority, Bethel Toler, airport administrator, and Bob Pell, executive director of the Coshocton Foundation. Josie Sellers | Beacon

COSHOCTON – One of the main questions Bethel Toler gets asked about the Richard Downing Airport is if it has a Ground Power Unit (GPU).

“This was one of the most critical pieces of equipment we could have for jet aircraft traffic,” said Toler, who is the administrator at the airport. “They don’t want to have to use their battery power to start their engines back up. This provides them power to do that and keep heaters and air conditioners going while they are waiting for passengers.”

The airport is able to charge for the use of the GPU plus it keeps jets here where the pilots can spend money in our community and buy fuel from the airport.

Toler has been seeking a way to fund the purchase of a GPU for two years. His dream became a reality after learning about the Community Development Fund that is maintained by the Coshocton Foundation.

“A group of us from Coshocton had gone to Cancun for vacation and we had conversations about the need for this,” said Tiffany Swigert, executive director of the Coshocton Port Authority. “The airport is an essential part of our economic development.”

The community development fund was created by a group of individuals who had the idea to have people and businesses donate $100 per month toward economic development in Coshocton County. Applications for money for the fund must be filled out and the Coshocton Port Authority Board has to approve them before the Coshocton Foundation releases the money.

“It’s a restricted fund and we only tap into it on their (the port authority’s) approval,” said Bob Bell, executive director of the Coshocton Foundation.

By everyone working together, the airport was able to receive an $8,950 grant from the Community Development Fund to purchase a GPU.

“We get corporate jets in here two to three times a week,” Toler said. “A GPU has always been the number one request from them and now they can stay here and keep their equipment running.”

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Josie Sellers

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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