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Letter: A less-discussed dimension in Great Barrington airport debate

To the editor: Reading some of the letters to editor in your paper makes me think that we’ve got the pro- and anti-airport debate wrong.

Many of your readers would concur that Koladza Airport in Great Barrington is a great asset to the community. But the current debate is not about whether the airport should exist at all. It is about whether it should continue to be regulated by the town.

The real issue, to me, seems to be what happens to the airport long-term. The land that the airport sits on cannot be especially valuable if the current regulation remains in place and cannot be used to its full commercial potential. If we change this, and it gets to self-regulate, it will immediately become much more attractive and valuable to anyone or anything with the money and the will to make more.

The current owners are, as we all know, decent people and want to be good neighbors — and in the immediate future nothing much would probably change. But that cannot continue forever. Sooner or later — within the next five to 10 years — this land, made much more valuable by deregulation, will change owners, who would pay a lot of money for it and seek to recoup their investment as fast as they can. By then, it will be too late to do anything.

The irony is that in order to save the airport in the form that we all know and love, it must continue to be regulated.

Alexander Musayev, Great Barrington

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