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Majority favor temporary closure of Huron County Airport

Annie Zelm • Mar 17, 2011 at 12:08 PM

Of 400 people who weighed in on the issue, the majority believe the Huron County Airport should temporarily close its runway to accommodate traffic for the nearby raceway, the airport's president said.

The Federal Aviation Administration allowed public comments for 30 days on a proposal to allow fans at Summit Motorsports Park to enter and exit through the adjacent Huron County Airport runway, easing the flow of traffic.

In February, raceway president Bill Bader Jr. and local economic development officials urged fans to write the FAA in support of the plan.

The proposal would allow aircraft operations on a restricted basis from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. May 14, June 24 and Aug. 13, and it would close the airport to all traffic from 4-8 p.m. June 25 and 26.

The raceway's biggest events of the year are on those days: The B'laster Cavalcade of Stars, the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals and the Auto-Plus Night Under Fire.

Airport president Dennis Sokol expressed a desire to work with the raceway, and he said he's optimistic about reaching a compromise that allows race fans to use the airport's runway.

But not everyone gave their stamp of approval.

Sokol said FAA program manager Alex Erskine told him the FAA received 75 letters from people opposed to the idea, and a handful of remarks from people who had mixed feelings.

FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory confirmed the agency received about 400 comments and said they would release an official report soon.

The FAA then will review all comments and respond before making a decision.

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