Stormville Airport : Community Benefits
A State of Virginia study of general aviation airports conducted in 2005 [1, 2] found that the average small general aviation airport with only twenty-three based airplanes generated $1.6 Million dollars per year in local economic activity. Stormville could easily exceed that figure.
Virginia general aviation airports generated $300 in economic activity for every landing or takeoff, $119,000 per year per based aircraft, and on average, $400,000 per year in payroll.
The study found that even small airports generate economic activity in excess of the investment required by the community to operate and maintain the airport.
An airport is open space. It is green space. It is a few strips of asphalt and lots and lots of grass. It is space uncrowded by streets, storm drains, sewers, septic systems, heating oil tanks, asphalt roofs, automobiles, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and utility wires. An airport doesn't require more classrooms, more schools, more electric capacity, or expansion of the water treatment plant. An airport captures open field and open sky.
An airport is a place where a medical evacuation flight can land to rush your injured partner to a trauma center. It is a place where an Angel Flight can pick-up your child and take them for treatment needed from a specialized clinic three states away.
An airport is a place where people come to enjoy themselves watching airplanes or flying them. It is a place where people learn to fly and dreams take flight. It is a place where families leave and return from visits with relatives, shopping trips, or vacations to Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or upstate New York.
The next time you board an airliner, ask one of the pilots where they first learned how to fly an airplane. Nine out of ten will tell you they learned at a small airport. Ask them how they decided to become a pilot and even more will tell you it's because of seeing small airplanes at their local airport, or getting a flight with a friend or volunteer in a small plane. As a young person.
Of the things in the world that hook and inspire young people to achieve something-- fire engines, race cars, football fields, horses, drama stages --a small airport is one of them. Your community general aviation airport is where dreams of flight can take form and gain substance. Your community general aviation airport is where you and I can learn to fly.
Look around any general aviation airport and you'll find many airplanes owned by small or medium sized businesses and small business owners. These are the businesses and business people who bring employment and life blood to our local community. The airport is part of the reason they are there.
Many business people use small planes to visit customers, suppliers, field offices, and other facilities located regionally in the northeast. They locate their business and do business with people who are located near airports. They also choose to live in a community where they have access to an airport. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimates the transportation benefit of a small airport with one hundred airplanes to be one million dollars annually in saved time and travel costs for those who use the airport.
The Hudson Valley Research Park in East Fishkill is ten miles and twenty minutes from the Dutchess County Airport. It is half that time and distance from Stormville airport. All of the businesses located along Route 52, Route 376 from Hopewell Junction, Beekman Road, Carpenter Road, and Phillips Road lie within minutes of Stormville Airport.
Stormville Airport is five minutes from the Taconic State Parkway northbound, six minutes from the parkway southbound, and eight minutes from Interstate 84, providing convenience of access unparalleled by any other airport in southern Dutchess, Putnam, and northern Westchester Counties.
Stormville could easily lease one hundred hangars at $350 per month, generating thirty-five thousand per month of gross revenue on hangars alone. Each of those airplanes requires fuel, generating fuel flow fees and tax revenue for the town. The airport could support a flight school, maintenance facility, and restaurant. Every one of those businesses generates jobs and tax revenue for direct economic benefit to the community. Every dollar of direct benefit multiplies in dollars spent indirectly in the community. The restaurant purchases local produce. The maintenance shop employees buy lunch at the local deli. The pilots fill their cars at the local gas station on the way to the airport.
Long suffering and trampled by hoards of flea market bargain hounds from all over the northeast, Stormville could recover to a more gentile flow of local residents who have the wherewithal to own homes and own airplanes. Stormville could become a vital resource and contributor to the economic benefit and quality of life in East Fishkill and surrounding towns. The airport at Stormville can do all of this without losing its small, rural character and charm.