Was there a major basketball game this weekend? Did it mean heavier use of Horace Williams Airport? This graph from flightaware.com covers the most recent weeks' air traffic per hour.
This is old news for most people, but thought it might be interesting to see it represented this way. Still convinced that this airport will remain open indefinitely - because the RDU project may be suspended indefinitely, because funding for CN continues to be a major issue, and because even if closing it might save the University (and taxpayers) some money, users will never allow closure. Not as long as UNC is in the running for March Madness, anyway.
Here are some photos I took on my visit today to Maple View
Dairy in rural Orange County. They were hosting a celebration to thank UNC Chancellor
Holden Thorp for halting the process for the airport. Mr. Thorp was there having an ice cream as
well as many of the key parties that worked so hard to oppose the airport.
I was told later by someone that Chancellor Thorp is a regular
visitor to Maple View already, but I did not know if that was shared in confidence
so I will not divulge the source. :-)
As reported in the N & O one hour ago:
The university may halt its plans to build an airport in Orange County.
Holden Thorp plans a press conference at 11 a.m. this morning to
announce a "change" in the plans for an airport authority in Orange
County. Thorp had announced in September that UNC would convene the
authority early this year.
Orange County Commissioner Mike Nelson said the university would not be pursuing an airport in the county.
"They are not going to establish an airport authority at this time,"
Nelson said. "They're going to back off and focus on other priorities."
- N&O: UNC airport may not get off the ground, 1/9/09
If this is true, I will be very pleased and will also be very very impressed with Chancellor Thorp. It's easy to SAY the things we like to hear, but harder to really do the right thing, especially with the UNC/BOT/legislative/AOPA machine pushing against you.
We'll know more soon...
The Airport Action Group sent the following letter to UNC President Erskine Bowles.
The citizens of Orange County have been totally left out of the airport process while UNC and their legislative allies have been colluding with the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and other special business interests.
January 9, 2009
Dear President Bowles,
Two opening volleys for 2009 on the airport controversy appeared in the CH Herald and the CH News respectively this Sunday.
An article by Neil Offen in the CHH ("National pilots group pushes for new airport") leads with: "A national pilots and aircraft owners group plans
to meet with UNC system President Erskine Bowles early this year to
push for the creation of a new airport in Orange County."
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