By: Metacafe Affiliate U
A Very Important 3-Part Documentary On The Most Famous of the "DC-3"
They called them the 'DC-3.' Three of the nation's most interesting and vital airports were restricted, strangled and severely punished for the fact that they were located in somewhat close proximity to the nation's capital... and after 9/11, that was a bad thing, indeed. The most celebrated of these airports is College Park Airport, in Maryland... and is none other than the world's oldest continuously operated airport.
College Park Airport's history is a storied one... as it was established in 1909 after Wilbur Wright came to the field to train two military officers to fly in the government's first aeroplane. The facility is now the world's oldest continuously operated airport, and is the site of many significant aviation firsts. College Park Airport, known as the "Cradle of Aviation," is an active airport serving the needs of aircraft pilots, and is also a site for history buffs and aviation enthusiasts. In 1977 the airport was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
In the paranoia that followed the tragedy of 9/11, the kneejerks in Washington decided that severely restricting a lovely little airport on the outskirts of DC was somehow a major security issue. College Park Airport Manager Lee Schiek wrote ANN, several years ago, of the travesties foisted upon his and the two other DC airports in the name of national security... "After 93 years of operation, our federal government has decided that this bucolic little general aviation facility must be slowly choked out of existence and sacrificed on the holy alter of National Security. The year-old temporary flight restrictions imposed upon College Park Airport(CGS), Hyde Field (W32) and Potomac Airfield (VKX) have now been arbitrarily extended for another two years. That action may very well destroy three previously vibrant general aviation airports, no doubt to the subtle satisfaction of our federal architects of security. The airports' assassinations will not be quick and humane, but slow and drawn-out, Inquisition-style. Not wanting any bureaucratic blood on their hands in the event of negative press, the feds are now free to shrug their collective shoulders and claim "lack of market response" as the "real" culprit leading up to the government's Final Solution for these airports. The fact that federal zealotry resulted in the seizure of 99+% of their customer-base won't even qualify as a footnote in any future administrative autopsies."
For nearly seven years, College Park has held on, barely, to its existence... and even started to recover a bit -- so very slowly... as a few pilots begin to understand the value of an airport great enough to jump through all the ridiculous security hoops TSA places in front of them.
So... will they survive? Aero-TV spent some time with Lee Schiek, who talked openly about what they endured and what they must have, in the future, if they are to survive. Join Aero-TV and Lee Schiek in a frank discussion of the trials and tribulations of College Park Airport.
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