Comox Valley residents, airport 'being held hostage'

Dear editor,

Hopefully the new Comox Valley Airport Commission board will have the abilities to provide modifications we desperately need to maintain and improve our air service.

Valley residents are being held hostage by some self-serving property owners who remain anonymous. They will not permit the topping of a few trees on their land, citing the welfare of birds.

In my opinion, if birds were nesting in a tree in the forest and that tree fell, the birds would move to another tree.

Peter McKay, former defence minister, said he wanted this issue solved by September, 2013. A status update would be helpful.

Has the new minister been informed of the importance of this situation by our airport authority and by MP John Duncan?

Nanaimo's airport solved their tree problem. Perhaps a call to them is in order to obtain a quick solution to this mess.

Duncan needs to be engaged to assist the Valley in clearing up our woes by an executive order. We need every level of local government to reach out to our MP to help keep the airport viable.

Fred Bigelow has been a good sport with his supportive comments about Nanaimo's airport.

So Fred, how are you going to solve the Comox Airport disputes? What are you and the board doing to get permanent border security people here so we can have international flights?

Marketing strategies could be employed with hotels, music festivals, transportation options, wine tours, eco-tourism, and outdoor activities to appeal to a broad range of people by local businesses.

We may enjoy a trip south in the winter. However, in the middle of July, our American neighbours would certainly enjoy the cooler climate we offer.

After reflecting on letters written by Carol Arnold and Win Hunter about the local airport, I have a fear that we will lose the airlines that provide such great service. They support many jobs, which translates into a sustainable tax base from which we all benefit.

Finally, to the anonymous property owners stifling the local economy: Plainly, you care for nothing but yourselves and enjoy inflicting pain on people who require a viable airport.

If you believe in your cause, stop hiding your name from the public.

The federal government need to issue an executive order to cut the trees or expropriate these people. In the meantime, why not use runway 30, unaffected by trees? The time is up!

Mary Smith,



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