UNC System President Erskine Bowles says he will let groups that organizied against an airport know when and if he meets with a pilots association in a few weeks.
In a story last week we reported that the Aircraft Pilots and Owners Association plans to meet with Bowles to discuss its continuing desire to see a new airport in Orange County when Horace Williams closes. The association sees airports as a critical piece of transportation infrastructure and generally wants to see more of them, not fewer.
That got the attention of Airport Action, which as best I can tell includes members from Orange County Voice and Preserve Rural Orange, the main groups that formed last year to keep an airport out of rural Orange County, particularly White Cross. Spokesman Mark Marcoplos, a former OWASA board chair and local green builder who lives there, wrote Bowles asking that his office let them know when "something is afoot with AOPA or other big players."
In refreshing candor, Bowles wrote back that he would. "History gives you the right to worry about transparency," he said, in one e-mail. Then when Marcoplos wrote back, Bowles responded with this:
"I am copying my assistant on this and asking her to please remind me to notify you if they ever request a meeting. Hopefully that way we won't forget. But I have absolutely nothing to hide and no reason not to be transparent. Now back to the work of the 15 other campuses and problems associated with adequate funding in this terrible economy. Erskine"