AOPA Enters Fray Over Plans to Close a Connecticut Airport

Aviation advocacy group urges members to contact local politicians.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has joined the effort to keep a Connecticut airport open as local officials consider targeting it for closure and redevelopment.

Earlier this year, a proposal to close Hartford-Brainard Airport (KHFD), which is located on the Connecticut River in the state’s capital, led to the mobilization of pilots who use the airport and businesses that operate there.

In a statement this week, AOPA said the bill that the state legislature is considering “would ultimately force the state to violate federal grant obligations by preventing the Connecticut Airport Authority from making safety and infrastructure investments.” Passing the bill could also “jeopardize the roughly $59 million in annual economic impact generated by operating the airport,” the group said.

AOPA said plans to close and redevelop the airport site ignore a 2016 study that concluded the airport was the best use of the property. The organization said it has been working with local pilots, tenants, and other supporters to establish the Hartford Brainard Airport Association to defend the field.

In a call to action, AOPA asks its local members to contact state lawmakers in the House and Senate and “urge them to strike lines 32 through 36 from paragraph D of Section 1 of Senate Bill 463.

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