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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Ocala resident shares thoughts on city’s lack of commercial flights

To the Editor:

While I do understand the concerns voiced by others, I, for one, would welcome flights in and out of Ocala International Airport. I travel for work and leisure, and the distance necessary to travel is a factor that is entering my thinking as far as whether Ocala is my forever home or not.

The only airport with a travel service going to it is Orlando, and that costs $100 round-trip and often requires me to leave my home four to five hours before my flight. Since many of these flights are early in the morning, that leads to having to depart my home at 1 a.m. or pay for a hotel the night before.

As far as comparing the potential growth of Ocala to what happened with Orlando, I think it is prudent to remember that the growth in Orlando was driven by Disney and Universal as well as sporting events. Those are not liable to be issues in Ocala.

I have resided in Ocala for several years now, and the lack of an airport has literally cost me a few thousand dollars in transportation and hotel fees. It is time to acknowledge this and do something positive about it.

Patrick Chalmers
Ocala resident

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