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Airport research necessary

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By The Staff

The more information you have, the better off you are — in any situation. That’s why we’re thankful to the Oldham County Airport Board for taking a step backward to evaluate the impact that a general aviation airport could have on this area. Though the board has been deeply engrossed in a site selection process that has provided some information on the impact of such a facility, there are many holes in the research — holes our residents and officials need filled before deciding whether they support such a project. The board voted two weeks ago to cease the site selection process — even opting not to choose any other locations than the three that have already been identified — and passed a resolution vowing not to use eminent domain during the process. Instead, the board is now tackling five issues they believe are the core of this discussion. They include: a study on the economic impact of a GA airport, a study on the impact of such an airport on local property values, a study to evaluate the operating costs of an airport, a deeper look into public opinion on the issue and a plan on how to share information about the project with the public. What’s impressive about the airport board’s decision is that it was made though in fundamental disagreement with the state department of aviation, which only supports a process recommended by the FAA. It speaks volumes that the board wants to know and share the answers to these questions with the public in order to make a more informed decision — even if it means that Oldham County is discounted from the Federal Aviation Administration’s funding process. The challenge facing the board at this point is how to fund these studies. Money has not been allocated for further review and the state department of aviation will not fund independent studies. We hope an agency in the community can assist in the absolutely necessary research for this project. Deeply studying the five key issues the board has identified will determine if in fact this project is worthwhile for Oldham County. After all, the more information you have, the better off you are. Especially in this situation.

The views expressed in this editorial are endorsed by The Oldham Era’s six-member editorial board.