Why Some Airports In Need Won't Take $$$...

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FAA Grant Causes Concern In Florida

In almost any other circumstances, a $2.3 million grant from the federal government would be welcomed with open arms by a civic government. But the commissioners of Martin County in Florida faced a room full of protesters sporting yellow ribbons to signify their opposition to the county accepting the FAA grant to protect the local airport, Witham Field. In the end, the commissioners, in a 3-2 split, took the money, which will be used to buy eight to ten homes nearest to the airport. The protesters wanted the county to close 460 feet of runway that was built in 1998 and resulted in the residential encroachment on the runway protection zone. "Shorten the runway and you have few takeoffs and landings, shorten the runway and you enhance safety [?] and reduce the noise," claimed Witham Airport Action Majority President David Shore. Susan Valliere, one of the commissioners who opposed acceptance of the grant said the vacant properties will end up being a maintenance burden and a magnet for homeless people, a sentiment backed by those in the gallery. "I don't believe for a minute these homes will be bought out and turned into beautiful parklands or a wooded buffer," said resident Virginia Sherlock.