www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-essex-airport-20120106,0,4725564.story

baltimoresun.com

Essex SkyPark: Saving part of our heritage

2:15 PM EST, January 6, 2012

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I read with dismay your story about Baltimore County's plan to close Essex SkyPark ("Members fear Balto. Co. will shut Essex Skypark," Jan. 5).

The narrative focused on old men flying old airplanes out of an old airport in Essex. But if the airport were in north central Baltimore County and the pilots and aircraft owners were politicians, developers and attorneys, the story line no doubt would have celebrated a historic landing field in beautiful pastoral Baltimore County, with a fleet of carefully restored antique aircraft flown by a cadre of experienced and dedicated aviators.

The article expressed concern the blacktop runway that is impervious to rainwater. But the runway is only about 0.2 percent of the total land surface of the preserve. Was that really enough to get your writer all fired up?

Reading the article I found the magic word that caused this to happen: Developers. They need somewhere to plant their trees, and where else can they find such a cheap and easy place to do so? Maybe next they'll next seize underutilized parking lots in local shopping centers.

Isn't there enough open space elsewhere for developers to exploit? Baltimore County should do the right thing to save a part of our heritage by offering the pilots association a lease in perpetuity as long as it meets certain reasonable conditions.

Jim Hudson