Talbert & Bright's airport master plan neglected to answer the most important question of all: Does extending the runway guarantee airlines will continue serving Hilton Head Island?
Nor did the consultants compare our situation to a resort-area airport that already has a longer runway and is close to a city with a major airport.
The Brunswick Golden Isles Airport in Brunswick, Ga., serves the resorts of Jekyll Island, St. Simons Island and Sea Island. The Jacksonville, Fla., airport is close by.
The Brunswick Airport has an 8,001-foot runway. Delta Air Lines flies regional jets from Brunswick to Atlanta in 37 minutes several times a day. The Brunswick Golden Isles Airport has done everything right. Yet, Delta is threatening to discontinue service to Brunswick. And earlier, when airport officials met with US Airways in hopes of getting a second airline to serve the resort area, the answer was "no."
Before we extend the runway at the Hilton Head Island Airport, it is imperative to take a hard look at the situation in our neighboring resort areas. These facts cannot be overlooked. If an 8,001-foot runway does not guarantee service to Brunswick, a longer runway will not guarantee service to Hilton Head. It is simple Economics 101.
Scottie DavisHilton Head Island