Among the many amenities in the city of Danbury is the municipal airport on the west side near Ridgefield -- a resource for businesses transporting goods as well as for aviation enthusiasts who fly for enjoyment.
The group of 60 local people who purchased the farmland called Tuckers Field in 1928 -- just 25 years after the Wright brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. -- certainly had prescience about the possibilities of aviation.
But the airport, which the city bought in the early 1940s, has not experienced a straight growth path.
From a high of about 190,000 takeoffs and landings in the 1970s, the airport's activity decelerated to just over 77,500 takeoffs and landings last year.
In a sense, the airport is at a crossroads.
Mayor Mark Boughton will soon be appointing a seven-member task force to study the municipal airport and how it might generate more revenue -- including an examination of the option to privatize operations.
Creating a task force is the appropriate step at the right time. A report is due early next year, and we expect the members will have to pursue their work with vigor and dedication to effectively meet that deadline with a thorough report.
Among the factors the task force needs to look at are the mishmash of property leases with varying rates. Some exceedingly low rates have been locked in for decades.
Rates seem to be the point of contention between a local businessman who wants to build 27 hangars -- and already has Federal Aviation Administration approval -- and the city.
With growth, whether it is in the form of more hangars, longer runways or more landing instruments, there are considerations.
Safety is foremost.
Another should be sensitivity for the quality of life for neighbors in Danbury and Ridgefield.
This is the proper time to examine whether Danbury Municipal Airport should continue at its present level, with nearly 300 planes based there, or grow into a vital transportation hub -- and provide increased revenue for the city.