Friday, July 1, 2011

Flyboys aren't only ones with stake in airport

As the early comments show on this story, there's not a whole lot of sympathy for folks who can afford their own planes.

But the city of Tracy — and us earth-bound plebes — should still care about the repair of runways at Tracy Municipal Airport.

The airport is an economic engine. Hangar rentals, fuel sales, and other business out there (as documented in this oldie but goodie column) bring money into the city. Which, last time I checked, was a good thing.

If the runways keep chewing up planes, and if the hangars aren't up to snuff, the flyboys will go elsewhere. And they'll take their money with them. (Also, there's a safety and liability issue that we won't even get into.)

The bigger worry I have is not that pilots aren't satisfied, but that this story points to a continued pattern of not fully realizing the airport's potential. More amenities, including business expansion and the opening of a restaurant, have all been discussed, but the plans keep stalling out. Not only that, but if the Ellis subdivision is eventually built right under the main approach to the airport, there is a serious possibility activity could be curtailed.

Tracy Municipal Airport has the potential to generate money for the city and local economy. It'd be a shame if that potential was squashed by inaction, poor planning and provincialism.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Mendelson...I agree with your comment on the tracy airport bringing more money to the city of tracy.Being a pilot my number one concern is safty.a tire blowing on landing,a prop shredding in flight could have a grave outcome.Go to any airport,even the smallest and check out their runway and taxiway.As far as us pilot's being rich..My plane cost me $28,000 several years ago.I make payment's.What does a boat,or new car cost?If boater's or drivers were complaining about unsafe road or water condition's I would understand.If tracy want's to raise hangar fee's at least use the money to fix the runway surface problem's.