FlightSafety International (FSI) and sister company NetJets are investing $225,000 in the Ohio Air & Space Hall of Fame and Learning Center (OAS) as part of a renovation of the original Port Columbus air terminal and tower. The gift from FSI and NetJets—both Columbus, Ohio-based Berkshire Hathaway companies—will be coupled with a state matching grant to enable OAS to begin work on the renovation. The 12,000-sq-ft, three-story terminal, which was dedicated in 1929 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, is at the southeast corner of John Glenn International Airport.
NetJets will be recognized as the presenter of the OAS Founders Walk, which will be a series of exterior public displays highlighting the terminal’s historic significance and key local and national leaders who played a role in its creation. NetJets was founded in 1964 at the airport as Executive Jet Aviation, originally based in Port Columbus Hangar One.
FSI, meanwhile, will be the presenter of two flight simulator stations planned for OAS, with each station incorporating a pair of simulators. One station will be available to the public on the first floor as part of OAS exhibits and displays that showcase Ohio air and space pioneers. The second station will be used for a science, technology, engineering, arts, and math youth learning center on the second floor of the OAS.
OAS expects to complete the first phase of the renovation this year. It anticipates the need for a second fundraising campaign to complete the project and build on staffing, operations, and programming requirements.