LETTERS: Cited airports are reasons to find other ways to grow economy

Fly Gwinnett Forward has indicated it wants to hear all sides and facts about the issue of expanding Brisco Field. I would like to cite some facts, figures, and concerns.

FGF cites Greenville-Spartenburg Airport in South Carolina and Westchester County Airport in New York as examples of success stories. Let’s take a look at these two airports that expanded to commercial facilities and their growth after 50 and 60 years of “progress.”

Over 50 years, Greenville has extended the runway to 11,000 feet, added 1,500 parking spaces, expanded the concourse and added rental car space. Ten additional acres have been purchased for expansion. Highways in the area have been widened with overpasses to accommodate traffic. In 2010, the airport carried 1,268,202 passengers served by 16 airlines and 828 employees.

Westchester County had similar growth over a 60 year period. It now serves 1.9 million passengers with seven airlines and 1,300 employees.

If the above airport examples cited by Fly Gwinnett Forward were emulated at Briscoe Field, this “commercial” expansion would affect every resident of Gwinnett, not just those who live nearby.

We cannot just look at our immediate concerns but where we want to be 50 years from now and beyond. This expansion could change Gwinnett forever. Let’s look at development and job expansion that would be far less intrusive and invasive to our way of life.

— Russell Everson