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Opinion
Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021 1 month ago

2 letters: Airport improvements are in the best interest of the community

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Also, reader examines the financial consequences of COVID
by: Guest Writer

Runway project will increase safety

Dear Editor:

Since there has been some discussion on the plan for an extension to the main runway at our airport, I would like to give a brief history and the reasons that the improvements to the airport are in the best interest of the community.

The Ormond Beach Municipal Airport is a part of the national transportation system that includes large and small airports. Our airport was originally built as part of the coastal defense system for WWII and has been an asset to the city since the 40s.

It is used as a transport airport for air ambulances, a local training airport for new pilots, and base for the Civil Air Patrol. And it is also the base for several business aircraft. The business aircraft normally leave in the morning and return late in the afternoon. Not a lot of noise or activity from them, but very valuable to our economy and jobs.

It is also used by several other flight training organizations such as Embry-Riddle and Phoenix Aviation. Most of the current activities are landings and take-offs by student pilots and instrument approach/safety training. As part of the national transportation system, all pilots and airplanes can use the airport at any time. Of course, there are exceptions such as commercial air transport aircraft that are simply too big and heavy for our runways, even after the extension is completed.

The expansion that has been already funded by the FAA is to move the takeoff location further to the west on our east/west runway, the one most often used. This creates a safety buffer by giving the pilots a longer takeoff run. The additional runway gets the airplanes in the air and at altitude with runway to spare. This is a very important safety consideration.

There are also over 400 high paying jobs on the airport with total business revenue of over $56 million. If you add the total employment of the adjacent business park, the airport area is one of the largest revenue producers and employers in the city of Ormond Beach.

In summary, most of the improvements to our airport are funded by the FAA and are mainly to keep the airport updated and safe for all the airplanes that use this part of the national transportation system. It is also a vital part of the economic development assets that the city uses to attract new businesses.

David Slick, Sr. 

CEO of Command Medical Products, Inc

Nothing left to lose? 

Dear Editor;

A recent letter that an Ormond Beach resident wrote to the Observer stuck with me for some reason. She was framing individual freedoms and mask mandates though the lens of the political picture here in Florida. “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose...” her letter told us, before centering on the common sense of wearing a mask and tuning out what the political class has made into a culture war.

Funny how that Kristofferson/Foster lyric stuck with me... “Nothin’ left to lose.”  

Actually there is a lot to lose if one chooses not to wear a mask or be vaccinated. Maybe it won’t be your life. Maybe it will just be your home, your paycheck or your savings, supposing you are hospitalized and treated for COVID. Have those of you who have not been vaccinated looked into this? 

I have, even though I have been vaccinated. The perception that COVID treatment is covered by insurance depends on your health plan, supposing you have one. Most plans have hospitalization deductibles. When COVID first broke out plans were waiving these deductibles. Not any more. Not my plan anyway. How about yours?

And while you’re at trying to get this answered, try getting some idea of what an extended stay might cost. Are the treatments you will receive fully covered by your plan?

My plan, reputable Florida Health Care, couldn’t answer that question when I called to research the “what if” cost in dollars if I had to be admitted to a hospital for COVID treatment.

“Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose...”

Just to be sure, also check with your employer. Get answers to the question, “Will I lose pay if I’m out for a month or more because of COVID?”

Some people I know did lose their paychecks. And I can offer to you that my deductibles should I be hospitalized with Covid would be at least $2,000, with the unknown about the cost of treatment hanging over me the whole time I was in there.

I have better ways to spend two grand. Just saying. “Nothing, it ain’t nothin’ Honey, if it ain’t free. And feeling good was easy..."

That’s the next verse. Feeling good about not getting vaccinated, or masking up? 

The financial consequences are far from free.

Bob Baumer

Ormond Beach

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