The irony of aviation
Hear it again!
One extremely valuable resource many communities are fortunate to have is an airport. The economic benefit an airport, even the smallest GA airport, brings to a community can be tremendous. But isn’t it ironic that community airports, in too many cases around the state and nation, are being squeezed out of existence by the very people that benefit directly from its existence!
In an age and time where the benefits to many are so important and valuable it almost defies comprehension that airports and aviation safety can be compromised so easily by those seemingly willing to trade lives for dollars. One must ask, how long can the aviation industry as a whole, withstand airports continually being restricted or even closed by development encroachment, or by those who seek purely personal gain through the development of the open land around or on airports? These encroachments are too often built with little or no concern about the safety of the public whether in the air or on the ground, in the approach and departure flight paths of the airports.
The Wolf “Introduction”
In the “Introduction” to a series of lessons produced by the Wolf Aviation Organization (http://www.wolf-aviation.info/lessons/01int.htm), "Lessons Learned: First Aid Kit for Airports", it reads: “It's ironic. While government and the traveling public often express their frustrations over the saturation of our airways and the endless delays for airline flights, the very solutions to the problem -- including improved, upgraded and even new general aviation facilities designed to relieve the strain on the system -- face incredible hurdles."
The threats to airports in many parts of the country have increased over the years due to a variety of reasons, including political expediency, encroaching and non-compatible development, and a myriad of other often inexcusable or avoidable factors. In some locations the difficulties dealt devastating blows to aviation, such as airport closures, excessively restricted operations, and needless delay and expense to airport owners or managers who must defend their right to operate or to make improvements to their facilities.
Ultimately the local communities are the losers, because in the final analysis it is the area residents and businesses that suffer the consequences of reduced transportation capabilities, including all the economic and societal losses that follow. And note that these challenges threaten airports that are both privately and publicly owned.
But there is some good news to be found in the face of this adversity. There are wonderful airport success stories, often in places where airport operators, users, and supporters rallied and undertook programs and campaigns to generate the kind of community support that gives an airport a future. In other places, self-promotion and education have long meant self-preservation because the airport has proven itself to be part of the community and not just located in it.
There are tried and proven ways to prevent a tide of opposition from rising against your airport -- or, if it already has, to turn that tide back and garner support and understanding. There are lessons to be learned for all of us.”
Take action, don’t wait
Take action to support your airport. Make it a New Year’s resolution that you will keep! Don’t wait for your flying to be restricted at your local field. Don’t wait for development to force your airport to close. Don’t wait until it’s too late to save an asset to your community that creates jobs, provides vitally important services, and benefits every citizen in the community! Tack action today…right now.
Don’t sit idly by and watch your airport disappear in the construction dust of another strip mall and then mutter…“what a shame, the airport is gone…isn’t that ironic?”
Special thanks to the Wolf-Aviation Organization once again, for the reuse and inclusion of a significant part of their article with their generous permission. Check out the resources offered on their website (as shown in the body of the article) or via http://www.wolf-aviation.org