Monitor | Indy Week

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Re: “Orange County airport: Flying under the radar

It's by no means axiomatic that UNC needs this airport -- something that will cost taxpayers many tens of millions of dollars and appropriation of private land - certainly not as much as it needs any number of other things that go begging, including research programs, salaries, and scholarships. The argument that an airport brings in deep pockets ia even less persuasive than the argument that big sports brings in deep pockets. These are not people who are particularly concerned with the academic mission. They are wealthy businessmen and sports enthusiasts who want private convenience. In this case, the private convenience is a mere number of minutes' difference from using RDU. And for the record, AHEC (the educational outreach program) is not the driving force here, and it can survive quite well with a move to RDU. No, its a gaggle of pilots and plane-owning business men who want the public to pay for and provide a nice new airport for their personal use and pleasure. The timing of this plan, not to mention the appalling underhandedness of most of the legwork done in the legislature and the so-called reports, is egregious. This is not just an error of poor community relations; it is an error of misdirection of very tight resources to support heavy-handed lobbyists and good old boys with planes. And it's a monument to that shameful arrangement that the airport will be constructed - be it as an expansion of Horace Williams or a new facility in Orange County - in defiance of all public interest, fiscal sense or environmental conscience.

Posted by Monitor on 10/25/2008 at 8:10 PM

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