Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Letter: Airport needs to be in good repair


Published on September 02, 2014

Two days ago I had occasion to land my aircraft at the Liverpool/Southern Regional Airport, a facility listed in the Canadian Flight supplement as an active airport with instrument approaches making it accessible in adverse weather conditions. What I found was wide tarmac runway almost 1200 meters long in excellent condition suitable for corporate aircraft. But otherwise the facility appeared to be in disrepair and converted to a drag strip!

Upon making inquiries I learned that the Municipal Council of Queens had decided to abandon the facility and has declined to appropriate any funds whatsoever to maintain this part of the regional infrastructure, which undoubtedly cost millions of dollars to construct and would no doubt cost many more millions of dollars to replace. I would respectfully suggest that this is a “penny wise, pound foolish” decision if there ever was one.

Your Council website has an entire section devoted to recruiting new businesses to the county. I gather that the closing of the Bowater plant has had a devastating effect on the Liverpool economy and that the council is actively looking for another major corporation to take over the site. What company of that magnitude is going to want to settle in a community that is exactly two hours from the nearest airport in either Halifax or Yarmouth? What impression will they get when they learn that the local council has made a conscious decision to abandon a perfectly good regional airport near Liverpool.

I would urge you and the council to reconsider and at least appropriate the funds necessary to keep the tarmac runway and taxiways in good repair. As your department of public works will no doubt confirm, if tarmac is not kept in good repair by sealing cracks to prevent freeze/thaw damage, it will quickly turn to rubble and have to be replaced. At some point in the future, particularly if corporations want to use the airport, you may want to think about fixing the lighting so that it can be used at night, but, for now, please do your community a favor and preserve this important component of your infrastructure for the future. An airport may not be a magic charm, but having one will certainly set off Liverpool as a progressive community in a region which otherwise has no facilities for aviation.

Hoping that you will do this for the benefit of the County of Queens and Liverpool. I am.

Geoffrey E. Clark

Portsmouth, NH

- Source:  http://www.theadvance.ca/Opinion

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