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Airports see silver lining in New Jersey, Oklahoma

Airports see silver lining in New Jersey, Oklahoma

AOPA is always looking for ways to support America's aviation infrastructure. In New Jersey, a Senate bill could help protect airports. And in Oklahoma, a House bill would provide state funding for regional airport improvements.

Pressures from residential development have slashed the number of New Jersey airports by almost half since 1950, when there were 82. Today, only 48 exist. But Senate Bill 1975 would remove them from the "endangered" list.

AOPA is supporting an amended version of the bill that would prohibit local governments from using eminent domain to condemn private property - including privately owned airports. The state already is taking measures to protect its privately owned, public-use airports through its airport development rights purchase program.

"Ensuring that airports and protected areas around them are safe from condemnation by local governments is an essential element of affording that protection," AOPA wrote to the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee to request support for the bill.

And in Oklahoma, consider this fact: One in 10 jobs in the state is dependent upon aviation. It's easy to see why protecting airports and keeping the cost of flying affordable is AOPA's priority for the state.

To help promote aviation, AOPA Vice President of Regional Affairs Greg Pecoraro recently attended Oklahoma Aviation Day at the state capitol. Pecoraro discussed House Bill 2082 with state legislators and expressed AOPA's support for the measure. The bill would provide $40 million in state funding for improvements at regional airports. AOPA has asked the state to extend funding to all of its airports in the future.

March 2, 2007

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