Panel Weighs Apple Valley Airport Control

?APPLE VALLEY Taking control of economic destiny. Improving residents’ quality of life.?
Officials at the Town of Apple Valley are sure that taking control of the county-run airport in the town’s boundaries is a sure-fire way to achieve these long-term goals. But some San Bernardino County officials aren’t convinced yet as some on an advisory panel, hand-picked by First District Supervisor Bill Postmus, asked for specifics as to how the town’s ownership of the airport will provide economic prosperity. Ken Henderson, the director of the town’s community and economic planning, said in order for a community to grow economically, it should focus on transportation. “If you’re not growing, you’re most certainly contracting,” Henderson said. Henderson also said that in the town’s control, all the money generated from the airport would go to the airport.

It is still under question whether or not the money generated from the airport under county control goes directly to the Apple Valley Airport. Bill Ingraham, director of county airports, and Norm Kanold, associate administrative officer for the county, said it does, while Henderson said audit reports say otherwise.

Dick Pearson, who represents Apple Valley Airport pilots on the newly formed committee, said he was worried that city encroachment on the airport could be the beginning of the end of flight in Apple Valley. “Several (airports) closed because of encroachment,” Pearson said.

Apple Valley Town Councilman Mark Shoup, who also sits on the committee, said the council has already taken steps to ensure that does not happen. “The airport is the crown jewel in the community,” Shoup said. “The last thing we want to see is any encroachment … that would close (it).”

The committee scheduled its next meeting for February 2nd at 6 p.m. at Apple Valley Airport. It will address whether or not the airport under county control is receiving what it makes monetarily, and how the town plans to run the airport if it takes control.