Welcome discussion about Groton-New London Airport's future

Groton state Rep. Joe de la Cruz wants to learn more about plans for the Groton-New London Airport and its potential for driving economic development. We’re all ears and so, we suspect, is the public.

The airport, despite its name, is located entirely within Groton. Last year the state Department of Economic and Community Development approved the town’s request to designate the two-mile radius around the facility as an airport development zone, making tax breaks available to attract manufacturing and commercial development.

To take full advantage of such a program, Groton officials need a clear understanding of the vision for the airport going forward. Public involvement in that process should be viewed as a positive.

That is why we welcome de la Cruz’s efforts to get the discussion jump started with the meeting planned for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 22 at the Town Hall Annex. The meeting will include presentations from airport officials, representatives of the Connecticut Airport Authority, and town officials, including information on economic development efforts.

The region has not had regular commercial passenger service since the departure of US Airways Express from Groton-New London Airport about 14 years ago. A couple of years back the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut polled its members and found interest in having such a service return to the Groton airport.

While Groton-New London, because of short runways, would not be suitable for large planes and long-haul service, smaller aircraft could shuttle travelers to such important hubs as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Newark, N.J., and Charlotte, N.C.

New development in the area could also drive the need for more charter flights in and out of Groton.

The bottom line is to make sure this facility achieves its full potential. It is encouraging to see a discussion centered on that goal beginning.

 

The editorial board is composed of the publisher and four journalists of varied editing and reporting backgrounds. The board's discussions and information gained from its meetings with political, civic, and business leaders drive the institutional voice of The Day, as expressed in its editorials. The editorial department operates separately from the newsroom.

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