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No Respect For An Icon--William T. Piper Memorial Airport Remains At Peril...

Lock Haven, PA City Council Displeased with Revenues

Lock Haven, Pennsylvania’s William T. Piper Memorial Airport (LHV) remains endangered.

Named for Piper Aircraft founder and president William T. Piper, the popular general aviation airport spans 112-acres, maintains two runways, and is operated by the City of Lock Haven, the government of which contends income generated by the facility falls short of the municipality’s wants.

Lock Haven city manager Greg Wilson stated: “By no means does the city say the airport does not have value; it does have value. In fact, the Bureau of Aviation estimates that the businesses that are associated with the airport make about $13-million a year in profit.”

Wilson added, however, that airport revenues do not return to the city, and are instead kept by local, aviation-related businesses. The conundrum has occasioned suggestions that the businesses in question band together for purpose of purchasing the LHV outright and taking over its operation.

LHV tenant Alan Uhler set forth a business plan for acquiring and running the airport is currently being developed by local aviation stakeholders. Mr. Uhler asserted: “Pilots need airports where they can get in small airplanes, earn their private pilot's license, and start to fly, then work their way up through.”

Private sector pundits and government agencies posit North America will be faced with a deficit of some thirty-thousand professional pilots by 2032. Moreover, the William T. Piper Memorial Airport is the only public airport in Pennsylvania’s north-central Clinton County.

In addition to flight instruction. LHV supports emergency aircraft operations.

Mr. Uhler added: "If you have an accident or something occur in downtown Lock Haven, Life Flight can't land on the street between buildings. They've got to find the nearby transfer point. In this Lock Haven city area, there's no better transfer point from the airport.”

The aforementioned Mr. Wilson claimed the Lock Haven city council does not intend to sell the airport for non-aviation use.

FMI: www.lockhavenpa.gov/dept/public-works/airport/

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