Restore local airport with friendlier policies

The editorial “Groton-New London Airport should have commercial air service” (May 7) rang some clear bells for me. I remember well the bustle of the airport in the 1970s and early '80s. I worked at the airport in varied roles for a time. While there, I saw and participated in a beehive of activity, from restaurants to commuter air travel to car rentals. Allegheny Air and Pilgrim Air were two purveyors of convenient travel between this region and the major population centers of Boston and New York. The familiar sounds and overhead sights of the distinctly marked planes were a welcome addition to the daily routine. Then there was a gradual contraction and then final quietude.

The perception? That the whole enterprise was taxed and regulated out of existence. I spoke to many aircraft owners and pilots who were eager to moor their planes in Westerly. Why? Because Connecticut aircraft taxes were exorbitant.

While a rebirth would be welcome, ideas and philosophies that repel and fetter must be jettisoned. Sadly, Connecticut has mastered the Art of The Steal. Let’s not kid ourselves, this area is a relative backwater; let’s make it less of one by restoring commercial air travel to the Groton-New London airport.

Eric Straub

East Lyme

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