Letters to the Editor

Longer airport runway benefits only select few

In an Oct. 30 letter to the Packet, a writer stated that if we want Hilton Head Island to attract tourists, we should provide a way to get them here.

We polled 924 tourists in the Coligny area, asking, "How did you arrive on the island?" Of the 924, 51 traveled by air (41 arrived at the Savannah, Charleston or Jacksonville airports), 10 arrived at Hilton Head Island Airport and 873 drove to the island. Statistics clearly show the majority of tourists arrive in their vehicles simply because of the convenience of having a vehicle here and being able to transport bicycles, baby carriages, beach equipment, golf clubs, etc.

As far as noise is concerned, the sound you get is not just for a few minutes during takeoff and landing. How about when these planes "rev up" before taxiing? Is this the sound our tourists would enjoy hearing while staying at the Hampton Inn and other surrounding hotels and condos? Is this what they would enjoy while on the beach or attending church? How about the disruptive noise to area homeowners? The position seems to be, "It's not in my backyard, why should I care?"

Keep in mind the commercial airlines that serve Hilton Head have not asked for the runway to be extended. Will an extended runway entice more people to fly? Is extending the runway really in the best interest of Hilton Head, or as I believe, is it in the best interest of a select group of private aircraft owners?

Elaine A. AscioneHilton Head Island