Michigan Rep wants to close 4 airports

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by MichiPilot, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. MichiPilot

    MichiPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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  2. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Two words:

    voting booth
     
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  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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  4. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Check out the comments section. Based upon numbers, we'd lose.
     
  5. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There is a way for it to be sold back. We did that with 6Y9.

    The state can't sell it directly to a private person or corporation. But once another public entity owns it (township, city, county, etc) then it can be sold to the private sector.

    The commenters obviously have no clue. There are airports, like the one I am based at, is self sufficient and takes 0 money from the city/county.
     
  6. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Maybe Michigan can sell the Great Lakes to Canada while their at it.
     
  7. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Pre-Flight

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    No where does it say they want the airports closed. He wants the states to not own them.
     
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  8. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

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    Yeah. They are looking for short-term solutions for long-term problems in order to avoid addressing the long-term problems.
     
  9. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Nothing in the article about closing them... And I agree with him, the state shouldn't own airports.. It is however ridiculous that they could not be sold back to the private sector. I just hope the homeowners at the airpark one have a pretty tight runway use agreement.
     
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  10. SkyDog58

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    Yeah, I didn't see in the article where he said he wants to close them. He's just questioning why the state owns them. Reasonable questions as long as it doesn't cause a rash decision on anyone’s part to close them. I agree that there should be a way for the airports to go back to private ownership or at the very least, local government ownership.
     
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  11. EdFred

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    The state can sell, deed, transfer, whatever to any other public entity, and it doesn't even have to be the public entity in which the property is located. They just can't transfer directly to a private entity.

    For example, the state used to own 6Y9. We couldn't acquire the airport directly from the state. Houghton County (in which Duncan Township and 6Y9 is located) didn't want anything to do with it, even though they could have made some money on the deal because it didn't "look good" politically. So, we gave the township next door (Covington) which is in a different county (Baraga) the money to acquire the airport from the State, plus some extra for time and effort to which they then deeded the property to SHCAHA.

    This could be done with any of the 4 airports in the article.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  12. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

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    I haven't been to these airports in question, but I did notice the photo on that article, which shows a private jet and car waiting by the airplane. I suspect it was carefully chosen to convey the impression that these airports are used only by the glamorous and wealthy jetsetters.
     
  13. N1120A

    N1120A Line Up and Wait

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    Except that's the first step to closing them.
     
  14. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Should the state own roads? Waterways?

    When you privatize a public resource the public usually loses access.
     
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  15. kyleb

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    I think the goal here is to get out of state ownership, not privatize. Most/all of the airports I'm familiar with are owned by a city or county (or are owned jointly by the city/county), not the state.
     
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  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

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    The goal is to come up with a short term source of funds to pretend to address the ongoing under funding of the states infrastructure so they can claim to have "fixed" things and still avoid talking about the "T'" word until after they term limit out.
     
  17. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    So unless the state gifts the facilities to a municipality, no municipal entity will be able to afford to capitalize it, much less maintain it. This reeks of a way for the state to try to generate some short term cash by disposing of long-term infrastructure. (And shift the tax burden and responsibility to local taxing entities. Classic kick-the-can problem "solving.") The end result, if successful, will likely be the loss of these facilities. Transportation is broad public resource and economic support structure. Too many political leaders are adept a finding problems, not so good at finding solutions. We have plenty of the former, not enough of the latter.
     
  18. kyleb

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    If the problem is as stated, the state transfers the property to someone, that someone transfers it to the local municipality. The State is off the hook and the local government has a new toy. The local Pol's could probably find a job for their respective brother in laws as airport management if they owned the airport.

    Federal grants take care of most of the maintenance and upgrades, at least around here.

    As to solving a financial problem for the state, selling assets ain't exactly sustainable.

    <edit> But I agree with your premise - the state basically has to give it away to make it work. Which ain't gonna solve any cash crunch for the state.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2019
  19. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

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    Welcome to Michigan.
     
  20. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Whoa. Federal grants will definitely not take care of day-to-day operating costs of the airport. Not snowplowing, not mowing, not utility bills, not repairs, etc. Federal and state grants will help with infrastructure costs--buildings, approach design, AWOS acquisition, security, etc., but not operational costs. Municipal entities have to figure out their income stream for operational costs, else it falls on the local taxpayer. (And at some airports in NY state, it falls really hard.) Our municipal airport is both owned and run by a small village, not an FBO so that we keep most of the fuel and rental income. Our business arrangement is very unusual for a rural GA airport. But even our business approach is challenging to keep the taxpayers mostly off the hook.

    One way to look at this is if the state owns the airport, its operational costs are spread over a much larger tax base than if the airport is locally owned and operated. Since airports, like highways and waterways, have benefits that extend well beyond the local community, this approach can make sense. But the state does owe it to the taxpayers to investigate how the airports can be run more efficiently. It can be done. Our airport did that.

    Michigan isn't the only state that has considered selling public assets for short-term gains. Certain politicians in NY state have repeatedly suggested selling highways to private vendors to manage. Fortunately, such ideas haven't gained traction...yet.