OPINION: Small Airports Provide Needed Service to Communities
January 8, 2010
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  • Mike Duncan – Washington, D.C.

    USA TODAY’s recent article about privately owned, public-use small airports was way off the mark. Not only do such airports provide relief to overcrowded commercial airports, but they also provide access to the outside world for many isolated and rural areas (“FAA and taxpayers prop up small, little-used airports,” News, Dec. 31).

    Your reporters should visit one of the smaller airports singled out in the article.

    I’m quite sure they would find many pilots willing to show them the benefits of these airports and the vital services they provide, often with no fanfare or recognition, to their surrounding communities and regions.

    Skewed priorities

    Derek Higgs – Hanover, Pa.

    As a taxpaying small-business owner, I was quite incensed after reading USA TODAY’s article detailing the Federal Aviation Administration’s practice of funding small, seldom-used privately owned airports (“View on ground: Helping little guy benefits all,” News, Dec. 31).

    In an economic crisis, during which one reads daily about the federal deficit, bailouts of poorly run companies, continued government spending and increasing taxes, how can it possibly make sense to give $5.4 million to an airport owner for upgrades to his facility that will be the centerpiece of a luxury-home development that he is planning? Will this really alleviate congestion at other airports or create sustainable jobs for the taxpayers who funded it?

    It sounds like our government is wasting our money rather than using it to create a more sustainable resource, such as investing it in small businesses or manufacturing. If the government did that, it might create jobs, and products we wouldn’t have to import from China.

    Source: USA TODAY
    Date: 2010-01-07