June 25, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
As a November referendum on closing Biddeford Municipal Airport draws closer, AOPA is continuing its campaign to gain community support for the field.
Delivering the message that “a vote to close the airport is a vote for higher taxes for residents,” AOPA Vice President of Local Airport Advocacy Bill Dunn met with reporters, city officials, and a local airport support group to discuss the future and importance of the field. A number of businesses have located in Biddeford specifically because it has an airport. And closing the airport comes with costs of its own, won’t resolve the city’s budget problems, and could do long-term economic harm, Dunn told the city manager and city council members.
Meeting with about 45 members of the Friends of Biddeford Airport group, Dunn and AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Alan Lyscars noted that the success of efforts to build community support for the airport will depend largely on local pilots. “AOPA is your partner in this fight and we will do all we can to save this airport, but you need to lead the charge in the community,” said Dunn, who urged pilots to talk to their non-flying friends about the value of the airport.
The group also plans to host an airport open house at the end of summer to bring the community to the airport.
Pilot responsibilities include requesting clarification or amendment whenever the pilot does not fully understand a clearance or considers it unacceptable from a safety standpoint.
The caustic combination of crosswind and an ice-crusted runway sent the aircraft skidding into a snow bank built up by plowing along the runway edge.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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