Petition to SAVE the Skypark from being closed by Baltimore County
This petition had 1,784 supporters
Essex Skypark is a small, general aviation airport that is publicly owned and open for public use.The Skypark is surrounded by over 500 acres of undisturbed and pristine wetlands and heavy forest. With a 2,100 foot paved runway and one of the few seaplane facilities on the east coast, Essex has been a haven for aviation enthusiasts. It is our intent to demonstrate the viability and need of Essex Skypark to Baltimore County, the State of Maryland and our local community. Visit our webiste to learn more: http://www.essexskyparkassn.org/essex/index.jsp
Points of Interest
o Essex Skypark is located on 40 acres in the center of 588 acres of forest and wetlands purchased with Baltimore County open space funds accepting the conditions of an easement that is controlled by The Maryland Environmental Trust. Baltimore County has given notice that they want to reforest the 40 acres on which the Essex Skypark is located. The reasons given are: 1- to significantly improve the water quality in the adjoining Back River. 2- to sell forest and buffer mitigation credits to developers and 3- reduce urban storm water nitrogen and phosphorus loads by removing impervious surfaces from the property. We do not believe destroying the historic Essex Skypark is the way to accomplish the stated goals from either economic or environmental perspective.
o Essex Skypark is not an expense to the county and tax payer – Essex Skypark is 100% funded by the Essex Pilots Assn. and Donations/Fundraisers. We pay rent to Baltimore County.
o Baltimore County has other open spaces which could well be used for forest mitigation credits without incurring the expense of removing the runway and buildings at Essex Skypark. The cost of preparing the property for planting of trees is estimated at over $1M. This money could be better spent on other projects or services.
o The easement states that the Airfield shall remain in perpetuity unless abandoned by pilots for over 12 months.
o Essex Skypark uses no pesticides or fertilizer, ie no nitrogen or phosphorus in the up keep of the Skypark (Our deer are all fed organic meals)
o Baltimore County Fire Departments, marine rescue units, Baltimore County police aviation unit, the Md Air National Guard and volunteer fire departments have all participated in relief training should a Katrina like disaster hit the Essex area.
o The State of Maryland has invested significantly in the airport by recently funding new runway lights and repaving of the runway.
o Essex Skypark is woven into the fabric of the Baltimore County community. We have been good neighbors and they in turn support us.
o Essex Skypark is Baltimore County’s last general aviation airport.
o Essex Skypark is one of the few places where members of the Chesapeake Miniature Airplane Association can fly their model airplanes. This recreational venue is enjoyed by young and older modelers.
o Essex Skypark makes aviation affordable for the average county resident.
o The Airpark has provided many Baltimore County citizens with their first flight and provided Baltimore County citizens with affordable flight training.
o Essex Skypark is home to the Annual Wings and Wheels Event every September. ( A blend of local Autos and Aircraft drawing both local and state residence.)
o Aircraft have flown out of historic Essex Skypark since the 1930’s and it became an official airport in 1942.
o Pilots have recently invested $38,000.00 in renovations to the storm damaged Community Hanger.
o Many Baltimore County pilots have built their own airplanes and fly out of Essex Skypark.
o It is very difficult to get donations for the upkeep and improvement of the Airfield without a long term lease.
o Essex Skypark provides a location for FAA approved Safety Seminars.
o Essex Skypark provides a location where county citizens share in the knowledge of aviation and aircraft maintenance.
o FEMA used Essex Skypark for disaster relief. Martin Airport was closed for 2 days as it was under water during the last disaster.
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