Letter to the editor: The time has passed for yet another airport ‘task force’

It was refreshing to see some factual articles about the Middlebury State Airport written and printed in the Independent. But I would like to address the suggestion in your editorial to have a task force review the state’s plans. I’d suggest you contact the state and retrieve the historical timeline.

The master plan has been in planning now for likely over three years. In order to address and current or potential concerns the state hired consulting firms for numerous studies in all areas, including environmental, impact, and demand, to name a few. All this information was already known, but due to suggestions like yours, the state spent quite a lot of money to ensure any impact was realized.

Two years ago, the State of Vermont told potential builders that permits were in place on selected lots for hangars. Then they withdrew that statement as applications were submitted, to say they needed to update the master plan before issuing actual build permits. Owners were told it would take less than six months. That timeframe came and went while more planning and “task force” processes took place. Some potential hangar owners gave up and went to other airports that actually wanted their money. Others had building material sitting on site waiting for the promised permit.

And now here we are, with every stone turned over and inspected, in the final hour of having a master plan in place after millions of hours were spent solidifying it, by numerous state and outside consultants. And you suggest without any knowledge of it, that perhaps a “task force” should review it. Stop stirring the pot without acknowledging all the history.

Peter Brown


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