Privately owned, public-use airports can be difficult to protect - private owners can close the airport or sell it to a developer who wants to build on the land. But private Connecticut airports could be getting some protection. AOPA is supporting House Bill 5536, which addresses the increasing pressures that privately owned, public-use airports face from suburban residential development. The bill would give the state the first opportunity to purchase a private airport threatened with sale or closure. The bill also would open the door for state funding to private airports, create a new airport zoning category, transfer control of airport development to the state, and allow the commissioner of transportation to acquire the development rights of private-turned-public airports. In the spirit of protecting airports, another bill ( H. 5339) would allow the state to buy and operate Igor I. Sikorsky Memorial Airport. AOPA Northeast Regional Representative Craig Dotlo will attend a Transportation Committee hearing Monday to express AOPA's support for the bills.
February 23, 2007