Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Air­port ‘soar­ing to new heights’

Dorchester Star - - Local - By VIC­TO­RIA WIN­GATE vwingate@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @vic­to­ri­adorstar and on Instagram @dorch­ester.star.

CAM­BRIDGE — The Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Re­gional Air­port looks to have a bright fu­ture ahead as part of a de­vel­op­ing Dorch­ester County.

Dorch­ester County Coun­cil re­cently brought in a new di­rec­tor, Am­ber Hulsey, to head the air­port’s op­er­a­tions. County Coun­cil has also in re­cent months ap­proved sev­eral im­prove­ment projects to the air­port and its ac­com­pa­ny­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

Hulsey has been in­structed by the coun­cil to grow the air­port op­er­a­tions and work to in­te­grate the air­port into the com­mu­nity.

“It’s one of the sad­dest things when some­one says to me, ‘I didn’t even know there was an air­port in Dorch­ester County,” Hulsey said.

She said that hear­ing that state­ment en­cour­ages her to ask ‘ what are we not do­ing?’ and find new ways to show the com­mu­nity what the air­port is all about.

“We are po­si­tioned be­tween Eas­ton and Sal­is­bury, but be­yond that, there’s no one in be­tween,” Hulsey said. “So, how can we make this the best air­port for ev­ery­one, not just in Dorch­ester County, but re­gion­ally?”

A few ideas Hulsey noted to help in­te­grate the air­port into the com­mu­nity are special events such as an Air­port Day or a Runway Run, events that bring peo­ple to the air­port and help them get to know what Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Re­gional Air­port is do­ing. Also im­por­tant, she said, are the schools, and she would like to con­nect with lo­cal school sys­tems for field trips and other ed­u­ca­tional in­ter­ac­tions.

“This is a GA (gen­eral avi­a­tion) air­port. Most kids are go­ing to go, if they’re fly­ing, to a larger air­port like BWI,” said Hulsey. “They could have a more in­ti­mate ex­pe­ri­ence here and get to be around the planes. It sparks that cre­ativ­ity or imag­i­na­tion of ‘What can I do?’ Air­ports are more than just pi­lots and air traf­fic con­trol. Most kids don’t un­der­stand that there are air­port man­agers, air­port di­rec­tors, op­er­a­tions, so many other mov­ing parts to an air­port.”

Hulsey’s first push to get the com­mu­nity more in­volved and in­formed about the air­port has been es­tab­lish­ing so­cial me­dia ac­counts on Twit­ter, Face­book, Instagram, and Youtube.

“We’re in a day and age where ev­ery­thing is tech­nol­ogy-based,” she said. “It’s all about so­cial me­dia. It’s about know­ing your com­mu­nity and reach­ing them where they are.”

So­cial me­dia is a vi­able way to show the com­mu­nity how they can uti­lize the air­port and be in­volved. There is a pic­nic area open to the pub­lic, a flight school is housed at the air­port that many are un­aware of, and the air­port is even a pos­si­ble wed­ding venue with a lit­tle cre­ative in­sight.

Hulsey is also part­ner­ing with sev­eral other re­cently hired di­rec­tors, in­clud­ing Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Di­rec­tor Jeff Trice, to spur eco­nomic growth.

An im­por­tant growth project, and a fo­cus of the County Coun­cil, is the ex­ten­sion of the runway and the preser­va­tion of rail lines in the process. The goal is to ex­tend the cur­rent 4,777 foot runway to 5,400 feet.

“That project in­volves mov­ing the rail­road, mov­ing a road, get­ting the farmer who leases our prop­erty into the process of leas­ing him a dif­fer­ent space,” she said.

There will have to be stud­ies, such as an en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact study, com­pleted be­fore work can be­gin.

Ad­di­tional projects in the works in­clude the pur­chase of ad­di­tional prop­erty, de­mo­li­tion of old build­ings, repaving parts of the air­field, in­stal­la­tion of fenc­ing, im­prove­ment of the en­trance fa­cade, and much more. Hulsey praised her pre­de­ces­sor, Meighan Chisholm, for el­e­vat­ing the air­port and re­ceiv­ing many grants dur­ing his nearly two year ten­ure.

“Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Re­gional Air­port is here. It’s on the tra­jec­tory for growth. We have a lot of projects that are go­ing on, many that are com­ing up. We have great support from the County Man­ager Jeremy Gold­man and the County Coun­cil, the Mary­land Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (MAA), and the Fed­eral Avi­a­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FAA). We’re about to take off. The air­port is soar­ing to new heights that it has never seen be­fore.”

Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Re­gional Air­port is grow­ing and work­ing on be­com­ing a more in­te­gral part of the com­mu­nity.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF CAM­BRIDGE-DORCH­ESTER RE­GIONAL AIR­PORT

Cam­bridge-Dorch­ester Re­gional Air­port is grow­ing and work­ing on be­com­ing a more in­te­gral part of the com­mu­nity.

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