Two airports sit less than five miles from each other, their wide-open runways tracing big Xs along the same stretch of Atlantic shoreline. At John F. Kennedy International Airport, air traffic controllers herd a procession of airliners in what has become a chronic choke point in the nation's air transport system.
Since Congress enacted the Airport Privatization Pilot Program in 1996, quite a few privatizations have been proposed, but few have made it past the preliminary application stage. So naturally I was skeptical when I reported last issue that a start-up firm called Propeller Investments was offering to buy and develop Briscoe Field in metro Atlanta’s bustling Gwinnett County into a general aviation airport with short-haul airline service. But after further research, I think this project has potential.
Aerotropolis: The Rise of a Vibrant New Kind of City – and How Massachusetts Missed a Chance to Have One
Forty years ago, the road to the still-new Dulles Airport cut through miles of loamy forest, darkening the view of the few cars that made their way along it. Then, in a sudden glade, appeared the swooping roof of the Eero Saarinen-designed terminal, gleaming as if poised for takeoff. But there were only a few flights per hour, each announced on a loudspeaker in the accented voice of a “Masterpiece Theater” host. Known more for its architecture than its functionality, Dulles was called the white elephant, the rarest and loneliest of species.
The community of Greenville, South Carolina is served by three of the state's busiest airports. The top airport executives of all three facilities have been named on the list of the 50 Most Influential People of 2010 by Greenville Business Magazine, emphasizing the critical role aviation plays in the Upstate of South Carolina.