Letters: Funding Small Airports

Melissa Block reads from listeners' letters about Thursdy's conversation about the funding of small airports.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Now, a couple of letters about my interview yesterday with U.S.A. Today reporter Thomas Frank. We were talking about his investigation into the fees we pay on commercial airline tickets and how a large chunk of that money goes to fund small, general aviation airports, the kind that cater to small recreational planes and corporate jets. Well, we've heard from a lot of licensed private pilots and others who wrote to say our story was misleading.

In the interview, I referred to those airports, some of which have as few as two or three flights a day as private airports. And John Welin(ph) of Ballston Spa, New York, was among those who wrote to correct me. I am a private pilot, he writes. The airports to which you referred as private airports in your report are in fact public airports. Anyone can use them at any time. And that was my bad. Mr. Welin is correct. He goes on to say one of the things that makes the aviation community of the United States unique is the base assumption that anyone and everyone has the right to get a pilot's license and make use of the air traffic infrastructure so long as you meet the basic requirements.

Laura Bundy(ph) of Fort Payne, Alabama, adds this perspective. Our general aviation airports with flight schools and flying clubs are the reason America has the most skilled and well-trained pilots in the world.

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