Orange County May Get Third Major Airport

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. --

Orange County could get a third major airport. The county commission decided Tuesday to delay approving $35,000 in taxpayer money on a study to see about building a multi-million dollar airport in west Orange County. Eyewitness News talked to critics who say the airport would be for a select-few, wealthy fliers.

Part of a vast land in west Orange County could soon be abuzz with the sounds of a busy airport.

"West Orange and Lake [counties] could use a small airport for commerce," Orange County Commissioner Bob Segal said.

Plans are in the works to build a $30 million airport in one of at least five spots. But first, the county needs to conduct a feasibility study at a cost of $35,000 to taxpayers. West Orange residents must raise another $15,000.

"Is this an appropriate use of money at this point?" WFTV reporter Ryan Hughes asked.

"You know, that's a good question. It is an economic driver," Segal said.

The new airport would look like the Orlando Executive Airport and it'd be home to the same kinds of planes as well. More than 113,000 planes used it in the last year.

However, pilot Arnold Holmes doesn't like the idea of the county considering another one.

"We have way too many airports in the county now to pay for a study to put other ones in," Holmes said.

Some say a west Orange airport would be located near high-end homes.

"Is there a need or is this just a place for rich men's toys?" Hughes asked.

"I don't think it's a good use of taxpayer money," Holmes replied.

The feasibility study must be completed before the county decides on a site or groundbreaking date. The county is seeking federal money to pay for the study. If it comes through, local taxpayers would not have to foot the bill.

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