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Stop creation of the airport authority

POSTED: March 23, 2011 4:00 a.m.

The 1,500 acre annexation in 2007 drove a spear into the heart of Dawson County. 


Now, creating an Airport Authority in order to obtain money from the FAA is what the residents of Dawson County had feared all along — that the real reason for annexing the Elliott air strip was to set the stage to invite the FAA to make it a General Aviation airport.


Once a government entity, i.e. Dawsonville Airport Authority, accepts money from the FAA for airport development, the FAA sets all the rules. 


That may seem fine at first, but should you want to limit the noisy planes from landing, there are rules against that. If you want to limit the hours of operation, there are rules against that (providing all safety concerns are met), if you want to change the flight track of the approach or take off to avoid heavily populated areas, they set the rules on that, too! 


Should you want to limit the number of planes using the airport, there are rules against that as well. 


It cannot be over-emphasized — once you take money from the FAA for airport development, you lose local control. 


I was told once in a meeting with FAA officials: “The sole job of the FAA is to grow airports and make airports safe.” 


Something else to remember:  The FAA’s mission is directed to the safety of the flying public. They have no obligations to people on the ground.


The FAA has been eyeing this part of Georgia for a very long time, but we don’t have to invite them in. 


In these hard economic times, the promise of money tempts many people. Unfortunately, that money won’t land in the hands of county residents, and even if it did, wouldn’t you rather keep your independence and the natural beauty that is such a vital part of Dawson County?


At this point our elected representatives at the State level are the only ones who can stop the Dawsonville Airport Authority from becoming a reality. Hearing from you will make a difference.


Arlene McClure




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