Airport Wars

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

One Pilot's Donation Saves Airport...

Hardly a week goes by that angry airport supporters don't fill a council chamber somewhere trying to save their local strip, but it's not often one of them puts his money where his mouth is. Enter Robert Kimball, who set an example (or an uncomfortable precedent) a week ago by putting up $6,630 to ensure his local airport, owned by the borough of North Cambria, in Pennsylvania, received a $132,000 state grant to complete the airport's master plan. Local governments in Pennsylvania must ante up 5 percent of state airport grants and the local council was considering dropping the grant until Kimball's offer came along -- they then voted unanimously in favor of taking his money and then the state's. The council also agreed to take the airport off a state Web site that lists the facility as being for sale and in which the owner is said to be looking at "all proposals for the development of this land." The posting has apparently been up for four years and was put up as a "trial balloon" to gauge interest from the private sector in taking over the airport. Council member Don Cessna (yes, really) said he knew nothing about the Internet ad, and the airport is not for sale.