February 16, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Feb. 16, 2013

Aviation offerings

TO THE EDITOR: We are getting work done on upgrading our local airport terminal. But, who is actually going to benefit from this improvement?

Mostly, I hate to say, non-local transients. People, granted, friends of our community, mostly from Canada, come here to get the flights down to the southern states on the charter flights. The only money spent here is whatever the county gets for the flights and the parking fees.

Most airports around the country have both commercial and general aviation that help with funding for the airports. Our local officials seem to think this airport is strictly a commercial operation, whereas, in reality, it is a combination “public use” airport.

How come these officials are trying to get rid of the “general aviation” aspect of this airport? They are limiting access for the general, and flying, public. They are limiting aircraft maintenance on the airport.

Many of these other airports have “community days,” where they actually create attractions for the general public to come out and see their local facilities, such as airshows, tours of the entire facility and even have plane rides for the local kids.

The general public is not even considered by our local officials in their rush to be the “big fish in the little pond.” Even their “airport committee” is strictly local politicians, instead of local fliers and public citizens of the community. Mention of airport issues is a small note in the Press-Republican, instead of a serious discussion of the issues regarding the airport.

When is the county going to get serious and address all the issues an airport in this category has? Too many local pilots have sold their planes or moved them away from here or given up flying all together, just because of this committee and the county officials.

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