Commissioners in Collier County, Florida, have backed away from a plan to close Everglades Airpark (X01) in the face of opposition from both AOPA and the city of Everglades.
In a letter to the county commission, AOPA noted that the county had accepted federal airport improvement money for X01 this year and, with it, an obligation to keep the airport open to the public as a landing facility for the life of the grant—typically 20 years.
"Airports are a transportation resource that provide aviation access to your community," wrote AOPA Manager of State Affairs Keith Holt. "Preserving our nation's system of airports is a priority for AOPA; therefore, we would strongly oppose closing any of these airports in Collier County." (The Collier County Airport Authority also operates Marco Island and Immokalee airports.)
With the city of Everglades already declaring that it wants the airport open—going so far as to pass a resolution vowing to take possession and continue operating the airpark if the county closed it—and the opposition of AOPA and local airport supporters, the county commission is now rethinking its plan to close Everglades Airpark.
AOPA has available materials that outline the benefits of a general aviation airport, such as AOPA's Local Airport, Access to America video and AOPA's GA Serving America Web site. Additional online resources to help generate support for local airports are also available.