Save the airport for the whole community

Tom Vail

Dear Editor,

I wish to babble about the airport issue. After years of watching this issue, I feel I must speak out. I am not one of the so-called “elitists”; I cannot afford a home or a hotel. I am not one of the “few privileged individuals”; I do not own or fly an airplane.

I am a supporter of the airport as it is because my friends and I need a place to land our hang gliders. The airport is the only open space that remains within a reasonable glide of the launch site. For many previous years we returned to earth after flying where many now call home in Park East. Hang-gliding sites are not man-made and are few and far between. If you have never soared with a bald eagle, or ascended in a thermal to more than 17,000 feet over Glenwood, then you cannot appreciate how important this is to us. Also, as members of this community, we realize the value of an airport for every citizen of the region.

This letter from me has been inspired by the recent uproar from some residents about the hangers under construction and demands to “dismantle” the airport. Recent letters/articles ranting about newspaper staff, City Council, and city employees show that people are uptight with their decisions regarding their investments. I am reminded of a person who builds or buys a house adjacent to a golf course and then complains about golf balls hitting their house; I find it difficult to empathize. The hangers under construction were approved just like their houses were approved. Houses are built in my previous landing field, now all I have left is the airport. Maybe I should go knock on doors and insist that the owners “dismantle” their houses, whaaaaa!

I urge City Council and the Ad Hoc Airport Committee to leave this parcel of land as it is, an airport. I have cited my personal reasons. In addition, the value to our community is realized every time a medical transport flies in or out, during recent fires and subsequent vegetation efforts, any time a business or tourist person uses the facility, and whenever any person is able to expand their horizons through the three-dimensional outlook to which any ground-bound person is oblivious. If you detect arrogance in that last statement then I have succeeded in my point. Aviation is a gift without limits, and Glenwood Springs’ best interest lies in maintaining this asset for the community.

Sincere as I can muster,

Tom Vail

Glenwood Springs

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