By AOPA ePublishing staff
Releasing 37 percent of Pellston Regional Airport property for nonaeronautical development without appropriate safeguards could limit the future of the Michigan airport.
Emmet County officials have proposed a long-term lease of 621.46 acres to a single tenant in a move that may bring hundreds of jobs to the area, but at a potential cost to the airport's growth. The tenant will use a small portion of the land for minor developments such as a hangar facility, warehouse facility, and a crisis action center; most of the remainder will be vacant, but lost to aeronautical uses.
Without opposing the project, AOPA is encouraging local officials and the FAA to ensure that the airport protects its rights and retains the ability to meet future aeronautical needs. AOPA is concerned that handing over control of so much of the airport's developable area could limit its value to pilots and potential as the community grows.
In a letter to the FAA, AOPA requested that the agency, through the Airport District Office, work with the airport sponsor to determine the minimum amount of land needed to accommodate the planned nonaeronautical development and retain its control over the additional acreage.
October 25, 2007