North Carolina members have been contacting AOPA, worried about the future of Jackson County Airport in Sylva. A new state law that allows the Jackson and Macon county airport authorities to merge into a regional airport authority also opens the door for the airport's closure. The North Carolina Division of Aviation has reassured AOPA that it will work to protect the airport. Rick Barkes, manager of Aviation System Development for the North Carolina Division of Aviation, told AOPA that the division has already invested $800,000 in the airport and would do everything possible to assist the airport sponsor in maintaining and developing the airport. State Sen. John Snow, whose district includes Jackson County, supported the legislation that became law and does not want taxpayer money to be spent on airport development if it ultimately will be closed. AOPA is working to ensure the airport remains open and has offered to work with the aviation division to protect the airport.
September 15, 2006