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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Are commercial flights needed in Ocala/Marion County? Three readers share their thoughts.

Three more readers from Marion County submitted letters to discuss the topic of bringing commercial flights to Ocala International Airport.

“Ocala/Marion County has two airports that don’t benefit the people of Ocala: the Ocala International Airport and the Dunnellon airport off of 484, which are both private. In my opinion, it doesn’t make any sense because these airports don’t service the people of Marion County. These two airports service the rich people, but it doesn’t add up to any profit for the city or for the county government. If Disney pulled out of Orlando, that city would be in the same situation like Ocala because that’s why the airlines are there. But we have luck on our side because the World Equestrian Center is changing everything in Ocala. The city is booming, more people are moving here, and big business is building here as well and is generating profit for our beautiful city. We the people who are the majority will see major airlines begging to come back to Ocala,” says Ocala resident Noel Tulley.

“The population of just the 55+ neighborhoods within 20 miles of Ocala would largely support a major airline into this airport. The 1 hour and 20 minute drive to Orlando (MCO) is quite burdensome for most seniors. Retired people tend to travel more frequently, and having a connection in Ocala would be wonderful. In addition, it would draw more businesses that require a convenient access to air travel,” says Mike Mcgrothers, Summerfield resident.

“Just one quick question to all those malcontents bellyaching about the lack of commercial flights in Ocala: How many hours did it take you to get to the commercial airport in the city or town you left to move to Ocala and how many miles was it from your home? I lived in Manhattan for the majority of my life (over 50 years) and, guess what, we had no commercial airport in Manhattan. I had to drive almost three hours to get to LaGuardia during traffic, about the same to Newark (plus exorbitant tolls), and three-and-a-half hours to Kennedy. I never wrote a letter or complained about the lack of an airport in Manhattan, let alone commercial flights. So suck it up and stop trying to change our wonderful small city, or go back to the city from whence you came that had everything you ever wanted and you never had to complain about anything,” says Ocala resident Carol Shalaew.