Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Taking a 10,000-foot view: Penn Valley Airport (KSEG), Selinsgrove, Snyder County, Pennsylvania

A ramp upgrade or improvements to taxiways or hangars at the local airport may not seem important to most of us, unless we – as they say – take the “10,000-foot view” and consider the benefits from a broader perspective.

A $2 million ramp upgrade at the Penn Valley Airport near Selinsgrove will make it more accessible to larger aircraft, general manager Jim Taylor told us this past week.

“It’s incredibly safer, and we have so much more room to park airplanes,” Taylor noted. With larger aircraft from local corporations using the rural airport on an increasing basis, such as Panda Power, National Beef, Weis Markets, the improvements are necessary and beneficial to all of us.

“Your airport has a ‘multiplier effect’ on jobs and income,” the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) writes in an article about the importance of local airports. “The U.S. Department of Commerce says that every $1 spent at local airports adds another $2.53 to your local economy.”

What we might not always see from the ground is that businesses actively seek locations with a community airport when locating a plant, headquarters or distribution center, members of the AOPA remind us. Compared with congested and expensive large airports, general aviation airports, like those located near Selinsgrove, Elysburg, Danville and Montoursville, offer convenience and cost-effectiveness.

Improvements at local airports are also an investment in the future. The federal government has started creating the Next Generation Air Transportation System, known as NGATS, which envisions using small airplanes and advanced satellite navigation and communication technologies for speedy point-to-point travel between general aviation airports,

The AOPA also notes that light jets will soon play a large role in an emerging air taxi industry. “With their ultra-quiet jet engines, they can carry up to six people to and from small airports safely, quickly and economically.”

And let’s not forget about one of the most important benefits of local airports: They serve an essential role in times of emergencies, providing landing points for airborne medical, law enforcement and disaster relief services.

Private pilots, some of our friends and neighbors, also volunteer as “angels,” offering to transport patients to and from life-saving medical treatments or transporting human organs for transplant procedures. Viewing all of this from that perspective, it’s easier to see why that ramp at the Penn Valley Airport really is a good investment.

Original article  ➤ http://www.dailyitem.com/opinion

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