County must reconsider plans for island airport

info@islandpacket.comAugust 12, 2013 

I have been a full-time resident of Palmetto Dunes for more than 20 years and would like to express my concern with the recent proposed displacement of The Deep Well Project, one of our most effective charities on Hilton Head Island.

I noted with some dismay the lead story in the July 22 Packet, which stated that Deep Well was "stuck in limbo," as a result of airport expansion and unintended consequences.

In addition, I understand 13 other properties will be displaced and their businesses disrupted, at a time when we're trying to grow businesses on the island. Does that make sense?

I find this hard to believe. All of this change to accommodate a 5,400-foot runway that is no longer needed to ensure continued commercial service to the island. The airport master plan is no longer relevant to the long-range needs for commercial service to the Hilton Head Island Airport. A 4,800-foot runway extension, if properly planned and environmentally controlled, would fit on existing airport property with only minor alterations.

It's now time for our elected officials to challenge Beaufort County on the master plan and look for alternatives that are less costly and that preserve our business base, along with saving Deep Well. This involves our whole island and is too important to ignore or make mistakes.

Norm Roppelt

Hilton Head Island

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