Erie County and Huron County commissioners met last week and agreed on one thing concerning the proposal to build a regional airport at NASA Plum Brook: They need more information.
Specifically, Huron County commissioners want to know how the proposed airport would benefit Huron County residents. That's a legitimate question, and the agreement to move forward with Erie County to get some answers is a step in the right direction.
NASA wants an airport at Plum Brook because officials believe it will enable the site to get more contract work for testing and development of satellites and other high-tech aerospace equipment at its testing facilities. Shipping a delicate $10 million satellite over the road to be tested at NASA Plum Brook is not practical, but landing it there via air travel would create many more opportunities for growth.
Erie County officials and involved residents believe a Plum Brook airport also could spur economic growth in support industries that could be created. Those high tech manufacturing jobs could help turnaround the stagnant economy.
But the Federal Aviation Administration is prohibited from funding a Plum Brook airport because of the proximity to the Huron County airport. Funds could be shifted if the Huron County airport shuts down, but Huron County commissioners want to know what's in the bargain for their constituents.
We encourage commissioners from both counties to stay on the regional track. A Plum Brook airport could definitely be a shot in the arm for the region, but it will never happen if these two neighboring counties can't work together.