Confused by the flood of contradictory factoids concerning the need to extend the Hilton Head Island Airport runway? This summary might help clarify things:
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A Federal AviationAdministration official says support will "diminish rapidly" for an extension less than 5,000 feet.
It seems that whatever we do, we will not accommodate regional jets. Commercial service will continue to depend on airlines using turboprops until a new short takeoff jet is developed. Our 4,300-foot runway is of adequate length for current and next generation turboprops. If Delta and US Airways discontinue turboprops, we lose them, no matter the runway option selected. We would then seek a regional carrier with the vision to operate Q400s or equivalent planes.
It seems the issue is not the viability of commercial service, but the ability to bring in larger private jets, which is a whole new argument.
Chris GarmstonHilton Head Island