Letter: Media hypes plane wrecks | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter: Media hypes plane wrecks

Letter to the editor:

The Lake Tahoe Airport … do we really need it?

This question seems to pop up rather frequently in Tahoe Daily Tribune editorials. I am new to the area and admit that I do have a vested interest in seeing the airport survive and (hopefully) prosper. We have just bought Emerald Bay Aviation … and hope to see a return on our investment by providing quality flight instruction and other general aviation services for pro-aviation residents of South Lake Tahoe.

Interest in aviation is at an all-time high. Student enrollment in flight schools all over the country has never been greater. This is because the airline industry is experiencing a shortage of qualified pilots. The outlook is for this high demand for pilots to continue throughout 2010.

Where will these future airline captains begin their career training? Many will come from general aviation flight schools such as Emerald Bay Aviation.

Emerald Bay Aviation currently has eight student pilots in its flight training program. More than half of them intend to make aviation their career choice. They live here and prefer to remain here, while they acquire the requisite knowledge and skills to safely pilot airplanes. We believe it is in the best interests of the South Lake Tahoe community at large to have them remain here for their training, rather than relocate to the Bay Area or even Reno to pursue their dream.

It would seem that many who oppose our airport quote safety concerns as a reason for shutting it down. Certainly, when an airplane goes down, it is headline news. Conversely, when an automobile crashes, it is commonplace. We hope the general public is not fooled by news media sensationalism. Most of us are aware that, as a means of transportation, aircraft are safer than any other mode, with the single exception of trains.

Finally, we would encourage anyone who may be “on the fence” regarding questions on the need for our airport, to please try to think of any successful resort community existing anywhere in the world today that does not have an airport if its very own.

John Brown

Owner, Emerald Bay Aviation and Flying Start Aero of Minden, Nev.

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