...Keep Airports Open...

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Although Blakey rarely misses a public opportunity to stress the agency's commitment to maintaining the system of airports throughout the country (she called it a "national treasure" at her Meet The Administrator session at EAA AirVenture), the fact is that rarely a day goes by that an airport somewhere isn't under intense pressure because of development, noise or perceived nuisance, safety or, more recently, security concerns. Although closures continue, Boyer reminded the FAA that "keeping airports open and operating must continue to be a major role" of the agency. The implementation of the Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft designations is expected to add thousands of additional aircraft and pilots to the system in a relatively short time. Often pitched as the economic shot in the arm that GA needs, the new class of pilots need room to fly, park and maintain their little planes. "If some of the projections for expanded use of general aviation become a reality, access to non-air carrier airports is essential to the success of the growth," Boyer said.