Letter: A common-sense approach to Cottonwood Airport
If I am not mistaken, Cottonwood started out as a ranching and farming community in support of Jerome’s mining industry.
In a way it’s going back to its roots by becoming the nexus for Arizona’s wine industry except the wine industry generates additional growth in areas like the college enological program, tourism, restaurants, tasting rooms and so on.
In my opinion, growing business at our intown airport will hamper our city’s resurgence just like it has in Sedona. I know people who have moved out of Sedona as a result. And tourists who say they won’t return.
Yes, the airport was here when I moved here. But it was a small quiet airport not the busy airport it has become recently because the three flight schools in Prescott find it hard to use the increasingly crowded Prescott city airport.
And yes the world is full of noise. If you live in a large city you might be used to it. But many of us moved away from metropolitan areas to escape air pollution, night lights and noise. Many tourists come here to escape it, too.
The bottom line is we can have our cake and eat it too. Most of the increase in flight traffic recently is due to training exercises.
So for the near term we can look at ways to curb the Prescott flight school training exercises at our airport like charging them for touch and goes as an example since they don’t fuel up or provide other revenues. They have alternative airports like those in Seligman and Williams.
For the longer term we need to look at the pros and cons of growing airport business and its impact on the city’s goals and visions.
We should look at the possible repercussions of our decisions which is something the city councils of both Cottonwood and Sedona failed to do years ago when they could have built a shared airport between the two cities.