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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

More residents discuss pros and cons of bringing commercial flights to Ocala

In response to numerous letters from local residents which discussed the airport needs of Ocala/Marion County, more residents wrote in to share their thoughts on this topic.

“I am new to this area but have lived in the Tampa area for 18 years, and I think this city is going to grow without it, one way or another. I personally would like the convenience of not having to drive to Tampa or Orlando, or for that matter even Gainesville, which is where I lived for the last five years before moving to Ocala. We lived close to the airport and were never bothered by the air traffic. I would like to see our city grow with the airport getting some expansion, and I live about a mile away from the airport. Add the cost of driving 100 to 200 miles and the cost of parking for up to 10 days, and it seems to me that it would be to our advantage to have it here,” says Ocala resident Bill Rollings.

“Yes, it would be great to have an airport so close. I live in Stone Creek, and that would be a big fat ‘no’ to the airport. It would put me in the flight path, so no thank you. Leave our city alone. It’s crowded enough,” says Louise Smith, Ocala resident.

“I would rather enjoy the peace of Ocala and travel an hour. Wouldn’t it be much better and small townish to have a bus or a train that can take you to an airport?” says Ocala resident Dr. Mopar.

“I have been coming to Crystal River for 10 years. I love it here because of its open space and small town feeling. I finally got to move here this year. What I don’t like is all the new construction for stores and car washes. Like we really need them. Leave the trees. So, ‘no’ to the airport. Take an Uber if you can’t drive. Leave the small town alone. Change is not always good,” says Karen Pusloskie, Crystal River resident.

“I moved to Ocala from New York in 1980. There was an old Ocala train station and Greyhound bus station, but they are both gone. The Ocala Amtrak station was remodeled and it’s beautiful now, but there are no trains there. I used to take that train down to Hollywood, Florida to see my mother. There is no transportation in Ocala now. We would love to see commercial flights in Ocala so we don’t have to travel to Orlando, Tampa, or Gainesville to take a flight out of the city. Coming to a city without transportation was a big letdown. I had to take my son to school and pick him up when he was 15 years old, and I had to try to find a job that would allow me to be available to take him to and from school. We live west of Ocala and there is still no transportation there 25 years later. We don’t even have a grocery store on west State Road 40, from Pine Avenue/441 to U.S. 41 in Dunnellon, so I have to drive to State Road 200 or Highway 27 to get to a store,” says Ocala resident Beverly DeMarco.

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