Change in leadership hasn’t slowed the Clarion Airport

The Clarion County Airport has seen a change in leadership recently, as former manager Donald Kimball III returned to the position in December of last year.

Kimball spent a few years away starting his own business, but has returned to the airport with more passion for aviation than ever before.

When asked about the impact the airport has on the community, he did not understate its significance. “Our main focus is to support the economic development of Clarion County” he said.

Kimball explained how the airport directly benefits the local economy and is more intertwined with the community than most likely realize. As of May 11 of this year, the airport has hosted a total of 592 air operations, with 245 of them occurring just in April alone.

These figures can also be broken down into three types of air operations relating to business ventures, personal endeavors, and training-related activities. The operations in April included 109 business, 76 personal, and 60 training operations. More activities are performed during warmer months, however, the airport is seeing more and more use year-round.

As the airport manager, Kimball supervises all activities that take place on the premises. This can include things such as maintenance, administration of the facilities, implementing safety protocols, airport finances, and more. He also ensures that all parts of the airport are carefully monitored and taken care of.

In the future, he could find himself coordinating a commercial pilot training program in conjunction with PennWest University and other flight schools around the area. This program would be another way the Clarion Airport supports the county. Kimball emphasized how there is a significant pilot shortage affecting the aviation industry, thus impacting supply chains that ensure communities like Clarion survive. He discussed how this program could grow the student population at the university and provide a unique opportunity that Clarion offers, while simultaneously expanding the local economy.

The addition of this program comes along with other developments happening at the airport. Hangar C has been furnished with new overhead lights, half of which were donated by STAT MedEvac. There is also a new taxiway being developed between different areas of the airport, including Hangars A and B.

Kimball is working on another renovation that could potentially be open for public use. This will be a rustic-style camp ground directly adjacent to the airport itself, furnished with logs and a pond. Campers from all over could stay and witness air operations while enjoying the outdoors. This project is currently being developed and may be open for campers within the next year or two.

The Clarion County Airport has also been known to host events for public viewing. Aircraft from all over the world have been flown in for static viewing days, where individuals can observe the aircraft up close while they are parked. When asked about the next planned event could be, Kimball noted that there will likely not be one during 2023. However, a potential date could be in the works for the summer of 2024.

Since its founding in 1974, the Clarion County Airport has continued to provide the local community with a plethora of resources and aviation opportunities. Both its uses and its facilities have grown over the years, and will most likely continue to do so as the community’s dependence for aviation increases.

More information about the airport is available at To contact an airport official, call (814) 226-9993 or email