State officials recognized a Charles County economic engine Friday morning as part of General Aviation and Community Airport Month.
Sen. Thomas “Mac” Middleton (D-Charles) presented a proclamation from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s office at Maryland Airport in Pomonkey to honor the occasion.
Sue Greer, chairwoman of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee, spoke before a crowd of community members, county staff and elected officials at the airport about what she said is one of her favorite subjects.
Greer said that corporate air traffic is expected to increase in the coming years.
“It means the Maryland Airport and Charles County are uniquely positioned to take advantage of that opportunity,” Greer said.
The airport’s proximity to Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Indian Head Highway also makes it a valuable asset for the county’s economy, Greer said, not to mention the additional jobs it will create.
“They say it takes a village to raise a child. When it comes to development, it takes a community,” she said.
“This is your economic asset at work,” Greer said of the airport begun by businessman and entrepreneur Gil Bauserman, who saw what the airport could be and will be for Charles County.
The airport is not complete yet.
Greer said that a $1.6 million grant from the Federal Aviation
Administration will build a parallel taxiway, Bauserman will contribute more than $91,000, and more than $91,000 will be contributed by the Maryland Aviation Administration. A ramp and hangars will be built to hold 75 airplanes, Bauserman said.
“That’s an example of the public/private partnership that’s necessary for economic development,” Greer said. She thanked U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md., 5th) for helping to make the funding possible.
Before presenting the governor’s proclamation, Middleton (D-Charles) said airports play an important role in people’s lives and businesses. General aviation plays an important role in emergency situations and natural disasters, he said.
Del. Sally Y. Jameson (D-Charles) said jobs are created thanks to community airports, and she is proud of Bauserman and the local airport. “It is a key part of our economic development here in Charles County,” Jameson said.
Del. Peter F. Murphy (D-Charles) thanked Bauserman for his persistence in making the airport a success, and said the airport was an example of what local, state and federal governments can do when they work together.
Charles County Commissioner Ken Robinson (D) presented a proclamation on behalf of the county commissioners, and said airports in Maryland provide approximately $550 million in annual income, as well as 6,274 jobs. In Charles County, the Maryland Airport provides 215 jobs and houses 62 airplanes.
Bauserman thanked his family, O’Malley, Charles County government and the chamber of commerce for their support. After 18 months of work, Bauserman said that the airport has been awarded a state grant of $31,700 to be used for the redesign of the taxiway. firstname.lastname@example.org