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Pros and Cons of the Local Airport

By Robin Loving

A little-known fact is that San Miguel has had an air field since 1937, located right behind where the city offices are, on the road to Los Rodriguez. The current administration’s plans are to make that an international airport—which has lots of folks talking about pros and cons. Come to Rotary Tuesday, May 16, at 12:30pm to hear Russell Henson, an airport civil engineering consultant with USFAA credentials, talk about the alternatives that have been suggested. The meeting will be at Hotel Misión, Salida a Querétaro 1. Admission is free and the presentation will be in English. Access is available by the number 7, 8, and 9 buses, and there is free parking.

Rotary Presentation
Pros and Cons of the Local Airport
Tue, May 16, 12:30pm
Hotel Misión
Salida a Querétaro 1
Free

The future of aviation in San Miguel is being discussed by Amigos de la Aviación de San Miguel, A.C., (Amigos), a nonprofit formed in 2009 by a group of local aviation aficionados who negotiated and received a 10-year ground-lease from the interim San Miguel city administration at that time. The lease assigned them the obligations to maintain, operate, and improve the existing airfield, which they reopened with a five-year permit from the federal authorities, commitments for funding of airport improvements from the State of Guanajuato, and a large asphalt donation from PEMEX. This was all done without any monetary support from the San Miguel de Allende municipal authorities. The airport was later closed by federal authorities in 2013.

Amigos, which are a group of pilots, started the first children’s aviation-education program of its kind in Mexico in 2007. Through the program, named Jóvenes Águilas de México, after the highly successful Young Eagles program in the United States, dozens of local San Miguel children were schooled on opportunities in aviation, encouraged to stay in school and study technical subjects, and then given a free airplane ride by one of Amigo’s volunteer pilots.

“While Amigos is certainly a promoter of general aviation, children’s education, and supporting tourism in San Miguel, we are first and foremost friends of the community and will continue our efforts to convince the current administration to widen its vision regarding the future of aviation in San Miguel,” said Henson.

Russell Henson is the treasurer and cofounder of Amigos and holds a master’s degree in civil engineering. He has an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is an active flight instructor, and is a registered professional engineer. He has introduced hundreds of children to aviation in the US Young Eagles program and the Amigos’ Jóvenes Águilas de Mexico program.

Rotary is where neighbors, friends, and problem-solvers share ideas, join leaders, and take action to create lasting change. For more information, contact President Nate Fultz at nwfultz@yahoo.com and see RotarySMAMidday.org.

 

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