Old Airport Plan Is A Fantasy



The town council killed the chance to resurrect the Airport Advisory Board.

What it narrows down to is the few older-in-office council members who voted against it, did so because they are still attempting to live their five-year airport improvement plan.

The Roundup would do the residents of Payson a great favor by printing excerpts from that plan to show everybody what kind of costly fantasy it really is, and what it will do with our tax dollars -- not to mention some little kickback money involved.

The council also approved the cost of extending the runway (which really means very little to airport safety) and has nothing to do with bringing in larger aircraft.

One councilwoman really thought it would allow large forest fighting air tankers to land and take off from Payson loaded with retardant. Wrong! That will not happen simply because the airport runway, taxi strip and parking area cannot take the weight of such heavy aircraft. They would sink into our runway surface.

As for commuter aircraft coming into Payson to fly passenger service to Sky Harbor Airport and other destinations, forget it.

Any large commuter service, like Mesa Air, would demand minimum yearly revenue, and it could run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars that the town would have to pay.

You can drive to Sky Harbor Airport in an hour and a half. A commuter service might have you wait hours for your Phoenix flight to depart because of commuter scheduling.

Oh, yes, corporate jets bringing golfers to play the two private golf courses. (That's why Airport Road looks so pretty.) I understand that there is only one corporate jet aircraft manufactured that can safely land and take off from Payson airport, even if the runway were extended. Also, with at least 71 houses for sale in Chaparral Pines, it is unlikely that there will be a lot of golfers flying in.

Roundup, please print excerpts from the five-year Airport Plan.

Dave Engleman, Payson

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