Letters to the Editor

Get airline commitment before spending money

Is it possible to get a commitment from one or both airlines for service to Hilton Head Island Airport? A commitment to provide service better than, or at least as good as, our current service? For an extended period?

If the airlines leave our airport, we can't recover the multi-million-dollar expense borne by the Federal Aviation Administration and us. The trees can't be restored.

I bring up this topic because US Airways established a major hub in Pittsburgh. Not too long after Pittsburgh made a gazillion-dollar update and expansion, the airline decided Charlotte was a better place for its hub. Without much notice or responsibility, as far as I know, they left Pittsburgh.

Similarly, Delta had a hub at Cincinnati for a lot of years. Just last year, Delta bought Northwest Airlines and decided to make Detroit its hub.

Both Pittsburgh and Cincinnati now have very nice airports but little traffic.

Are we engaged in a "build it and they will come" project? That's a very good story, but who believes a field built in an Iowa cornfield will attract a major, or even minor, league team?

Is it possible to get a commitment from one or both airlines?

I have no count, but I do have an impression, that all or nearly all letters supporting the runway extension have come from residents of the area. As important and desirable as that may be, is it not a consensus that airport use by residents could not support an extension?

Dan Bernitt

Hilton Head Island