From Barbara Ball Ewing
To: OX5 Members
We left Pittsburgh and traveled on to Clarion where K.C.’s daughter lives so I didn’t see the newspaper the next day. Those at the event said articles would be coming out. We even made a brief clip on the 5 p.m. Channel 11 news on Oct. 17. The event on Clifford Ball Drive was a delight. Rich Fitzgerald, the Alleg. Co. executive was there, Jim Gill from the Airport Authority, other staff from the airport and several staff from Findley Township. About 50 people in all. It was a very windy day. A PR man from the Airport gave us a drive on Clifford Ball Drive and it is lovely. They have left the trees bordering the drive and nearby the pads that have been installed. I’ll get a replica street sign mounted on a mahogany board. You’ll see it in the videos.
Barbara Ball Ewing
Link to more photos below.
Airport Development Street Naming for Aviation Pioneer Clifford Ball took place on Oct. 18 in Clinton Commerce Park, Findlay Township.
FINDLAY – Airport and local officials, along with family members of aviation pioneer Clifford Ball, conducted a street naming ceremony Tuesday, Oct. 18, at 1 p.m. in Clinton Commerce Park, Findlay Township.
A proclamation and plaque will be presented and the sign for Clifford Ball Drive will be officially unveiled during the ceremony. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Pittsburgh International Airport COO/CFO, Jim Gill, and Barbara Ewing, Mr. Ball’s daughter, will offer remarks.
“We are pleased to honor the contributions of a true founding father of aviation and his important place in history with this street dedication,” said Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. “We hope that Clifford Ball’s legacy will live on through the revitalization of Pittsburgh International Airport and the new jobs, businesses and development that is being generated here in the airport area.”
The road is being built to provide access to five new construction sites for commercial/flex buildings similar to those already in place and occupied by companies including Berlin Packaging, FedEx, the Post-Gazette and Knepper Press. Clifford Ball Drive, a two-lane road maintained by Findlay Township on Airport Authority-owned land, will connect new development sites to Sweeney Drive.*
“The new road, which is part of the $20 million Phase 2 development of Clinton Commerce Park, is fittingly named because it is integral to additional growth at Pittsburgh International Airport,” Gill said. “This kind of development in our region is opening a path to prosperity in the same spirit that Clifford Ball brought to our community and to the world.”
Ball’s legacy of service in aviation includes opening the Pittsburgh-McKeesport Airdrome, later re-named Bettis Field in honor of Cyrus Bettis, as well as assisting in the creation of the Kelly Air Mail Act, signed into law in 1925. One of the first planes Ball purchased, Miss Pittsburgh, flew the first airmail flight from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, Ohio on April 21, 1927. Miss Pittsburgh hangs today above the main security checkpoint at Pittsburgh International Airport.
The route became successful enough for Ball to initiate passenger service, first between Pittsburgh and Cleveland, and later to Washington, D.C. Clifford Ball Airlines operated from Bettis Field, and through time and mergers, became part of United Airlines. Ball also served as President of the Aero Club of Pittsburgh from 1934 through the 1960s. During World War II, he helped plan the Pennsylvania Air Reserve and organized and served as a captain in the Civil Air Patrol.
Ball was the first superintendent of Greater Pittsburgh Airport, overseeing its preparation and early years of operation. Ball’s lifetime career earned him the title of Pittsburgh’s “Grand Old Man of Aviation.”
The event was held outside on the new Clifford Ball Drive in Clinton Commerce Park at the intersection of Sweeney Drive, past Knepper Press, which is located at 2251 Sweeney Drive, Clinton, PA 15026.
About Allegheny County Airport Authority:
Allegheny County Airport Authority, which manages Pittsburgh International Airport and Allegheny County Airport, is committed to increasing air service, improving customer service and inspiring growth in the Pittsburgh region.
Pittsburgh International Airport serves more than 8 million passengers annually on 13 carriers with more than 170 daily flights. During the past two years, the airport has increased its announced nonstop destinations to 63 markets. J.D. Power ranked Pittsburgh International in its Top 10 medium-size airports in its 2015 North American Airport Satisfaction Study. Travel + Leisure also named Pittsburgh International a Top 10 Domestic Airport in 2016. TripAdvisor ranked Pittsburgh International Airport a Travelers’ Choice Favorite for Shopping in 2016.
Allegheny County Airport, opened in 1931 in West Mifflin, is the state’s eighth busiest airport and the largest general aviation airport in Western Pennsylvania. AGC handles approximately 50,000 takeoffs and landings annually and outpaces several airports that handle commercial or scheduled flights in Pennsylvania.