by Donald Evans
The Payson United Municipal Airport Alliance (PUMAA) has been formed to allow the nonflying Payson taxpayer to have a voice in Town airport operations, finance, and policies. We believe the airport belongs to the entire community, not just a select few airplane owners.
PUMAA encourages the town council to support the airport manager by granting the authority he needs to make the airport safe, quiet, and a facility that serves the needs of the entire community. The airport manager, Ted Anderson, has a wealth of experience in airport management and has already taken the initiative in making positive operational changes. He has demonstrated a willingness to accept ideas and suggestions from the public.
Since Mr. Anderson was selected to be the airport manager, feathers have been ruffled in the local pilots association and the advisory board. Efforts are being made to subvert his control of airport operations, enhancements, and enforceable regulations. Circumvention of his authority by the local pilots and advisory board needs to stop. The Payson airport manager should be given the authority he needs to implement any facility changes, ordinances, and financial expenditures, without political influence.
Without his consideration, surveys have been submitted to the Airport Advisory Board. These surveys were given selectively to pilots and aircraft-related business owners. No input was sought from the residents who also have a vested interest and pay taxes for the airport facility.
The Airport Advisory Board should not represent only the interests of the local private pilot hobbyists, flight schools, and related businesses. Unfortunately, the fox is in charge of the hen house.