Saturday, April 07, 2012

What if a small regional airport was turned into a farm?

Photo Credit: Mainely Planning

Written by Mainly Planning 

I have a prediction. Small regional airports are going to become a thing of the past. I said it, now why do I believe that is so?

In one of the regional service centers of Maine, there resides a small airport. As with a lot of small towns, these airports can often turn into a burden for the local government to keep up with, and often require massive transfer of funding from federal and state sources. To obfuscate things a bit I am going to refrain from links. Guess the picture location, fine, but don’t tell any of my future employers. 

This particular airport is going to require about $500k in local monies, $500k in state funds, and about $9million from the federal government to make necessary repairs.

As a want-to-be planner I ask questions such as:
  • Is it in our economic best interest to have an airport that requires massive subsidization?
  • How many people in town use the airport?
  • What are the economic impacts for the area, outside of receiving federal and state subsidy for the repair and upkeep on the airport, and is this in our best interest as a society?
  • Is this system something that can sustain environmentally over time?
  • How does the airport ~15 and ~25 miles away compare to our airport and is it worth having all three?
  • Should we be competing to be the airport of the region, or should the region come together and focus its resources on one airport?

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