After more than a decade as an AOPA Airport Support Network (ASN) volunteer, David Faile knows how to defend his airport from attack. So when he read a letter to the editor full of misinformation in his local newspaper, he got to work setting the record straight.
Faile, who is the ASN volunteer for Sikorsky Memorial Airport in Connecticut, answered the charges of anti-airport activists point-by-point in his own letter to the editor of the Connecticut Post, published Dec. 10.
The original letter expressed opposition to plans to rebuild the runways at Sikorsky, claiming the reconstruction amounted to expanding the airport and would allow larger, heavier aircraft to frequent the field. With the help of AOPA’s regional affairs team, Faile responded with the facts—reconstruction will not change the length of the airport’s runways, will actually make them narrower, and will not change the allowable weight for landing aircraft. The runway reconstruction at Sikorsky is one of several safety improvements slated for the airport.
The key to defending Sikorsky is persistence, says Faile, who is also president of the 650-member Friends of Sikorsky Airport group. And he offers this advice to his fellow airport advocates: “Remember that when you are defending your airport, you have to start from the beginning every day. The airport foes and detractors and politicians have to be educated continuously.”
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