Approaching March Madness by air

Was there a major basketball game this weekend?  Did it mean heavier use of Horace Williams Airport? This graph from covers the most recent weeks' air traffic per hour. 

HWA usage 3/09

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.

Photos from Holden Thorp's visit to Maple View Dairy

[Chancellor & friends, photo by John Rees]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. :-)

UNC backing off airport plans?

As reported in the N & O one hour ago:

The university may halt its plans to build an airport in Orange County.

Chancellor 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...

Citizens to Bowles: "Give us the same access to airport meetings that the special interests get."

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,

2009 opening volleys on the airport

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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