AOPA advocacy stalls threat to Georgia airport

November 18, 2004

AOPA advocacy stalls threat to Georgia airport

AOPA's advocacy has stalled the threat to Jekyll Island Airport (09J) in Georgia's Golden Isles region. The Jekyll Island Authority had wanted to close the airport to develop the land for other purposes.

That brought a thunderous response from AOPA (see " AOPA team battles to save Georgia airport"). And now the island's master plan, revised earlier this month, makes no mention of closing the airport.

"This is a significant step forward, since the authority has dropped its public plans to close 09J for now," said Roger Cohen, AOPA vice president of regional affairs. "This victory resulted from the synchronized efforts of local pilots and AOPA members, Jekyll Island Airport Support Network volunteer Lynne Birmingham, and AOPA Regional Representative Bob Minter.

Minter has had extensive conversations about the airport with Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, himself an AOPA member. (The governor appoints the members of the Jekyll Island Authority.)

"It's all about community and a shared love of aviation," said Birmingham, who served as a point of contact for pilots. "Many AOPA members worked their personal networks in defense of the airport."

One pilot, who is a prominent member of a Jekyll Island advisory board, briefed Jekyll Island Authority officials on their responsibility for the airport and pointed out that AOPA could be a valuable ally in planning on how to integrate the airport into future island development.

November 18, 2004