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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Should Ocala International Airport have commercial flights? More readers share their thoughts.

More readers submitted letters to Ocala-News.com to share their thoughts and concerns regarding the topic of bringing commercial flights to Ocala/Marion County.

“I think Martin Marszalek is right on with his thoughts about having commercial flights in and out of Ocala. I’ve been here for almost 10 years now and in that time the population has just exploded. Everybody seems to be moving here. It’s just not that out-in-the-country oasis it was even 10 years ago. Somebody saw the need to upgrade recently by building that nice terminal building. Even a regional airline would fit in here nicely. Silver? Delta?” says Ocala resident Bruce Fitzgerald.

“I agree with the letter about our airport. We need commercial flights so bad. I, too, am tired of driving 2 hours to catch a flight anywhere. Why can’t we get Allegiant or Spirit to open up here?” says Sandra Lee, Ocala resident.

“Also, we need commercial flights in Leesburg too,” says Lady Lake resident Carman Miller.

“At this very moment, it is 2:30 pm. I’m traveling to Philadelphia International Airport to catch a plane for home in The Villages. My 5:15 pm flight is currently delayed by over an hour. I will likely not arrive at Orlando International Airport until after 9 pm, assuming there are no further delays. I’m taking a shuttle from Orlando to the Villages and depending on the number of people on the van, I probably won’t see my front door until 11 p.m. or after. Commercial flights out of Ocala would be an absolute blessing,” says Rita Maristch, The Villages resident.

“Yes, I would like to see airlines with small planes like ERJ-145 coming to Ocala International Airport to do business. That way residents of Ocala and and nearby counties could come and fly out of Ocala to Miami or Atlanta or Jacksonville or other places cross the 50 states. I would like to see the mayor and the commissioners bring the airlines to Ocala. I think the F.O.B. is big enough to bring airline businesses. They can expand the runway. That’s my opinion,” says Ocala resident John Colon.

“For those wanting a commercial airport in Ocala, the city has grown so large since I moved here 18 years ago. Our beautiful horse farms have been converted into housing communities. Not many horse farms left. It is so sad to see them go. Our roads cannot handle all this traffic, especially with all the speeders and cellphone users driving and texting. So if you are moving here for the horse farms, you may want to reconsider. A large airport here would just mean more traffic from surrounding communities coming into already overcrowded roads. The noise of the bigger planes would mean we lose our peacefulness that we came here for. I say let it be a commuter flight from here to Orlando or Tampa with smaller 16 to 20 passenger planes. Less noise. Just my opinion. Thank you,” says Faye Ward, Ocala resident.