The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Editorials

July 21, 2013

Virtual tower

Raleigh County at forefront of safer flying at small airports

This week, several small airports across the country were watching progress taking place in Beckley.

They are in the same predicament as Raleigh County Memorial Airport — trying to maintain actual control towers amid rising costs and looking for solutions, especially amid threats of closure due to sequestration.

But Raleigh County stepped up to the challenge a few months ago, and began researching the probability of a “virtual” tower.

After testing this week using Raleigh County as a sample, experts deemed it successful, saying they were very happy with the outcome.

The results from the tests give many medium to small airports hope, due to the ability to now track air traffic at a fraction of the cost of building and manning actual towers.

Technology available to us today made it possible.

But Tom Cochran and his staff at Raleigh County Memorial Airport are making it happen.

We are very proud that this breakthrough in technology that could revolutionize the aviation industry had much of its origin in our backyard.

More flights will become available to Raleigh County Memorial due to this additional device, opening up to airlines that could not utilize our runways without it.

Not only does the technology promise to save taxpayers millions of dollars, it also potentially saves air travel in similar regions across the country.

But most of all, it will potentially save lives of air travelers.

Pilots will have access to information about obstructions on runways that they didn’t have before, such as birds, animals, vehicles and other aircraft.

The technology passed with flying colors by reports from various experts in the field who watched the tests. Now it must gain momentum from our lawmakers who could steer federal funds toward it.

State leaders also need to grab the torch and help to promote and grow this unique project as well.

North Carolina may have Kitty Hawk.

But future pilots may look to Raleigh County as a birthplace of safer air travel.

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 19, 2014

    April 18, 2014

  • New thinking

    Best way to address past financial failings is to look for alternatives

    April 17, 2014

  • Continuing the fight

    Solutions for drug war may need to be as tough as the problem

    April 16, 2014

  • Take me home

    You can go home again.

    April 15, 2014

  • Team work

    There is no doubt that last week’s announcement by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority of plans for a 500-acre Mega-Site development is one of the most visionary ideas we have seen in southern West Virginia.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 12, 2014

    April 12, 2014

  • Concord

    Impressive achievements in higher education reflected in quality of finalists for president

    April 10, 2014

  • Service

    In West Virginia, we often measure our “wealth” by all the things we can generally do without.

    April 9, 2014

  • Nutrition

    How much can we trust government to advise us on food?

    April 8, 2014

  • War on miners

    The federal government in the form of the Department of Health and Human Services has decided to cut funding for coal miners suffering from black lung disease by 35 percent.

    April 6, 2014