October 31, 2013
Local pilots, led by AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Scott Richardson, have been waging a battle to defeat a voter ballot measure that would bring upgrades to Montana’s Kalispell City Airport. In 2012, the city voted to invest significant resources at the airport designed to enhance safety, reduce noise, and allow it to contribute at a greater level to the local economy.
But a handful of residents, unhappy with the city council’s approval of airport development, collected enough signatures to force the measure to a citywide ballot referendum on Nov. 5 that seeks to overturn the city’s approval.
Local pilots formed the “Save Your Airport” group in order to defeat the ballot measure. They have plenty of support from local businesses, including the chamber of commerce. Even the lone candidate for mayor supports the airport and believes the improvements and development need to move forward.
AOPA has long supported the efforts of Richardson and others who have devoted significant time and effort to telling the airport’s story and making the case for airport development, most of which will be funded by the FAA. AOPA officials had previously met with local political leaders to express support for the airport and encouraging the city to move forward with needed improvements. Members who are residents of Kalispell City are encouraged to vote on Nov. 5.
AOPA’s Central Southwest regional manager recently put GA’s utility to the test with a whirlwind trip covering four states, seven airports, and nine meetings.
Wisconsin’s governor has signed a bill adding aviation to an existing recreational-use statute.
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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