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  Public Information Release
This is another news release from the Port Authority.


October 25, 2006


HEATH, OHIO – It was October 1, 1996 when the nation’s first military privatization-in-place officially proceeded and the transfer of the Newark Air Force Base property to the Heath-Newark-Licking County Port Authority occurred. This month, the Base, renamed the Central Ohio Aerospace & Technology Center in 1996, celebrates its 10 year anniversary while Air Force contractor, Boeing, marks 10 years at the helm of the privatized government workload located in Heath. Ten years have made the Boeing-Port Authority partnership a success story worth telling.

At a recent event marking the milestone, Roger Krone, President of Network and Space Systems for The Boeing Company, called the privatization-in-place "wildly successful." Remarking about his time spent with the 600 on-site Boeing personnel assembled for the anniversary ceremony, the Ohio native said, "I am reminded of the strong work ethic in Ohio."

Prior, during a ribbon cutting for the latest new workload at the COATC, Ohio Lt. Governor Bruce Johnson labeled the Boeing-Port Authority undertaking “Ohio’s finest example of a public-private partnership.”

In 1996, the then-fledgling Port Authority owned a 57-acre Air Force Base that was on the 1993 BRAC closure list and had an uncertain future. Some predicted the nearly one million s.f. facilities would become a weed-invested, white elephant for the community.

Fast forward to 2006. Today, the Port Authority is now the fourth-largest port authority in Ohio and the Central Ohio Aerospace &Technology Center has grown to become a 350-acre business campus home to 24 different employers and over 1,000 employees. The COATC is ranked 13th largest in Central Ohio according to Columbus Business First. In 2006, the campus has seen over $20 million in new capital investment with development projects bringing more than 135 new jobs to Heath.

The 10-year celebration was a time for reflection on the events of the past 10 years and a recommitment to the future of the strong Boeing-Port Authority partnership.

Last year, The Boeing Company signed a $15 million lease renewal with the Port Authority through 2010. This August, Boeing cut the ribbon on a new workload area for the AWACS-ESM, a radar-detecting antennae system that was relocated from Corinth, Texas. The construction of a one-of-a-kind anechoic chamber that made relocation of the work possible was the result of a creative $2 million incentive package assembled by the Ohio Dept. of Development, Licking County, the City of Heath, and the Port Authority. The Port Authority's $11.3 million Air Force mortgage on the former Newark Air Force Base was also fulfilled on October 1 of this year. A ceremonial mortgage burning was held as part of the 10-year celebration.

“Yes, we’re burning the mortgage but what changes?” asked Rick Platt, Port Authority Executive Director during the ceremony. “Nothing,” Platt answered. “We’re proud that we were able to renew our two largest tenant leases through 2010 with no base rate increases. We’re proud to have invested $3.8 million in capital improvements in 2006 and, we think, it shows. We’re proud that our economic development vision is being realized with expansions by Boeing and a Canadian manufacturer investing $14 million on our campus this year.”

For more information, visit the Port Authority’s web site at

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  Phone: (740) 788-5500