Interesting that this got coverage in the Rome Sentinel and not the O-D. Utica mayor wants county airport gift. I first heard this on WIBX yesterday when Mr. Julian was a guest on First Look.
While its understandable that the County cannot afford to maintain Two airports, to me it made no sense for the county to have chosen to keep the one that is clearly outsized for our needs, jeopardizing the Federal Reserve jobs and others.
The Griffiss airstrip needs to either be made self-sustaining, or shut down, i.e., market it as a regional cargo-port for ALL of Upstate NY where the ability to land huge planes would be a necessity. Start using it for Hurricane relief cargo flights NOW as a demo of what can be done.
That the move was decided upon without a plan for the Whitestown facility firmly in place beforehand is a testament to the lack of foresight on the part of our county leaders.
What I found really interesting in the article was EDGE's Mr. Duchow's admission that he was not familiar with buffer requirements for open land near an airport. Since EDGE is so involved with developing Griffiss, one would think they should be familiar with such requirements. Does EDGE really know what it is doing? (Of course they just put a $50 mil Rome HS at Griffiss and UCP's educational facility as well -- so this perhaps is not surprising).
I think Julian's proposal is worth a serious look.
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