OCEAN CITY – A public hearing on the future of the Ocean City Municipal Airport is planned for Thursday, June 28 at the Roland E. Powell Convention Center. A public workshop starts at 6 p.m. and the public hearing is slated to run from 7-9 p.m.
An environmental assessment was recently completed on the general aviation airport, which is based in West Ocean City off Route 611 and operated by the Town of Ocean City. The assessment studies the impact the lengthening of runways will have on the environment.
The alternative currently on the table and reportedly favored by city staff extends the east-to-west runway to 5,000 feet; the relocation of Route 611; and expanding the north-to-south runway to 4,160 feet.
The environmental assessment, which was largely paid for by the FAA with the town and MAA chipping in about 10 percent of the $450,000 cost, is currently available at City Hall, the Ocean City branch of the Worcester County Library on 14th Street, the airport and at the Northside Park recreation office.
At the public hearing, concerned citizens will have an opportunity to weigh in on the plan as well as ask questions they may have about the future of the airport. Those pertinent comments made at the hearing are expected to be included in an appendix to the final assessment document.
In a full-page advertisement placed in The Dispatch last week, the Citizens Against Ocean City Municipal Airport Expansion, a group comprised largely of West Ocean City residents, asked a number of questions.
“We urge you to come and find out why we don’t need this airport expansion,” the ad read. “Who is really paying for this expansion? What traffic changes can we expect from this expansion? What is the environmental effect on our coastal bays, wildlife and pristine Assateague Island?”