I just attended a Board of Aviation Commissioners meeting tonight in my hometown. I've spoke of the airport expansion project in previous posts, and tonight I made a presentation in opposition of that expansion.
Here is the video
What's happening is the City is trying to expand our local airport through a federal granting program called the AIP, or Airport Improvement Program, which the FAA oversees. This program is designed to give grant money to airports for expansions, new runways, new aprons, land acquisition...basically everything except hangars and hotdogs. And its at little cost, because it will mostly come from federal tax dollars, which we all know is our dollars.
This project is being sold on the premise it will create jobs. But that is unproven for these little airports, at least for the moment. We've only been given national fluff pieces that use the words..."could, maybe and potentially."
My biggest complaint, though, is that the City will take land by eminent domain in order to build this airport. This, to me, is morally wrong. But morality doesn't translate too well, so I presented them with census data from 45 areas that either built or expanded their airports. Here is the data I compiled.
The first sheet explains pretty well, the who, what, when, how, why and where. But for those who want further explanation, I compared employment data and income data from 2000 to 2006-2008 for each of these areas. I took percentages of that and extrapolated it to "what can we expect to happen" in our area in 8 years.
It basically showed that these 45 areas didn't show a marked improvement in employment or income in 8 years after they built or expanded an airport. That should surprise anyone who thinks airports create jobs. It surprised me when I started compiling it.
I felt the Board did treat me fairly, but my hope is they will treat the information I presented fairly. I remain positive!