To the Editor:
To the neighbors of the Great Barrington airport, to members of the community:
I’m both! As a resident of Great Barrington, an aircraft owner, and active community member at the Great Barrington Airport, I’m strongly in favor of the proposed hangar-building plans.
Our small town airport will never become a traditional fence-wrapped, high-volume, brightly-lit commercial airport. That’s simply not who we are. The Great Barrington Airport is a locally-owned, community-supported venture. It provides a gathering place for weekend flyers to socialize, and share their great passion for aviation. The top-notch flight school provides individualized curriculums, producing top-gun pilots. The maintenance shop serves the Northeast with affordable, specialty services. It’s a grand, diverse community of wonderful, welcoming people, which you’d know if you’ve ever visited. And if you haven’t, stop by anytime! Everyone is welcome.
This is a convenient airport for weekend flyers, wanting to visit our town. It’s a drop-off/pick-up point for the local boarding schools, too. Any visitor who flies in loves it, and wants to come back! That’s thanks to the unparalleled friendly, personal, and quick service they receive. They love our town; they love our airport.
Though the airport mostly provides a home to small, two or four seat, single-engine aircraft, these are still expensive pieces of machinery that deserve the most caring and comfortable environment possible. Leaving an aircraft outside is fine, but that means they’re exposed to the elements. It’s not just extreme weather we don’t like –– it’s the bright sun which can cause damage to glass, and age paint overtime. In the winter, it’s the snow, ice and cold. Winter flying can be an ordeal. In any snowy season, hours before we plan to take off, we must trudge out to our aircraft, brush off any snow or ice, and carry a portable propane-heater to the airplane to warm the engine. Alternatively, we tug the airplane to the nearest building where it can be plugged in. Being in a covered-hangar prevents all of this. And, a single, drivable, easy-to-plow path to our airplanes would be incredible.
For years we’ve been dreaming of the day when we could finally put our planes under a roof, knowing they would be safe, and easier to access during all seasons. It’s wonderful to know that this day could be coming soon.
As an active, influential member of airport, and other Berkshire communities, I promise to do my part in advocating for all parties. But what I will not support is a fear around any growth or progress. This airport simply will not survive forever without changes, and it would be a detrimental, tragic, and economic loss for Great Barrington and the Berkshires as a whole.
Now, we move forward and up! Enhancing our community and our town.
Looking forward to seeing new faces around our airport as it continues to serve as a beautiful, community-friendly spot.