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Working together at airport

by Linda Mae Draper

Congratulations to the Minden-Tahoe Airport staff, Airport Advisory Committee and all who participated in the great success of the recent Joint Planning Conference. Many different airport factions, interested parties and airport users were present, listened, and offered input on airport planning and development. It was great to see so many people sincerely concerned about the future of our airport.

It was especially encouraging to see that most people were in agreement, and things are happening that will benefit the entire community. It is becoming more and more obvious that the various airport interests can work together through interaction and planning. Also, people are becoming more aware of the valuable asset to the community that the airport offers. The airport certainly has the opportunity to become an integral asset in the economic growth of our community and all of Northern Nevada. It could eventually serve not only the local area, but also as a gateway to Lake Tahoe and our Capitol in Carson City.

Recreational, soaring, fire protection and business interests are understanding that they can mutually benefit through tolerance and consideration. The proposed Regional Training Facility and Law Enforcement Vehicle Course will bring added safety to law enforcement, recreational opportunities and contribute to airport self-sufficiency. With this kind of cooperation, the airport community as well as the entire Carson Valley is enhanced.

Soon, the newly-formed PAAC (Public Aviation Awareness Committee) will be visiting various service clubs and organizations to tell you more about the airport, its future and answer any of your questions. You can contact the airport for scheduling.

There is a bill in Congress now to keep aviation-generated revenue to help fund the FAA and improve the air traffic control system and airports. We are all working to help this bill pass, which will hopefully open up more funding for our Airport Layout Plan and bring some of the projects to fruition.

This brings to mind that there should be some state support of the air transportation system. Nevada is the only state that does not currently have some kind of program. Since Nevada is a comparatively rural state, with lots of open space between towns, we need to look to the growth of our airports to economically enhance these areas. Jim Braswell is proposing the creation of a Nevada Airport Operators’ Association.

“Many states have airport operators’ associations which are extremely effective at providing airports with a united voice in statewide issues,” he states. “Such an organization would also provide a forum to exchange information and solutions to problems that we’ll face in keeping our airports functioning as economic engines in the community.”

It looks like the entire aviation industry is finally, slowly, moving in the right direction. Our own Minden-Tahoe Airport has taken great strides in the last couple of years and things are lining up for escalating growth, development and independence. However, we must remain on track, and at the same time, continue to re-evaluate plans and confirm the needs and wants of the community. The Minden-Tahoe Airport has the potential to become the premier executive gateway and recreational mecca for Northern Nevada.

– Linda Mae Draper operates Nevada International Flight and Transportation Industries.