Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

March 1, 2014

Progress made on Autocross

On behalf of National Road Autosport LLC and hundreds of motorsports enthusiasts who compete at the Cumberland Airport, we are pleased to share progress toward continuing the Cumberland Airport Autocross Series.

With thanks to the Office of U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, the Allegany County Commissioners and the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority for their support in obtaining a more clear approval process for motorsports activities conducted at the Cumberland Regional Airport for the last decade, here is a brief report of the facts as we see them, and our future plans.

1. Motorsports programming is conducted regularly on FAA regulated airports around the nation with the full approval of the FAA.

2. Motorsports have been held at the Cumberland Airport regularly since 2003 and the airport has continued to receive airport improvement grants from the FAA during that time period.

3. The local airport has never been closed to any aviation activity for a National Road Autosport event.

4. No written prohibition of motorsport activity at the Cumberland Airport has been documented.  Written communication was received from the FAA that approved operation of the 2013 series. This communication ended with the offer to submit a proposal for continued autocross use.

5. The community benefit of our programming is well documented, hosting over 8,000 entries in eleven years of autocross events with a direct economic influx to the Tri-State Region in excess of $1 million and estimated overall economic impact of over $3 million.

This impact goes a long way toward giving local taxpayers timely return on the local annual subsidy in operating the airport.

In addition, we have provided over $50,000 cash payments to the PHAA that benefit airport operations.

With the cooperation of the interested parties listed above, we have identified pathways to formal FAA approval as prescribed by existing FAA presentations and procedural guidelines.

It is our plan to develop a proposal for continued sports car programming at the Cumberland Airport that documents past compliance and demonstrates future compliance with FAA regulations established specifically to allow this type of activity.

In deference to the time needed to move through the proper channels, our goal is to operate, in partnership with aviation related programming, an abbreviated 2014 season and a full season of 2015 events.

We plan to work directly with all the members of the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority board and staff on a plan that will result in a formal request by the airport to approve National Road Autosport programming for the foreseeable future, including a partnership with aviation organizations and without interference with the airport’s long-planned runway improvement program.

We will be emphasizing that none of our auto competition activities are conducted on Cumberland Airport runways, nor do they restrict any airport operations — nor have they in the past.

National Road Autosport has always considered our permission to use the airport as a privilege that honors Cumberland’s remarkable place in American sports car racing history.  

We are disappointed that the impression of FAA formal regulatory opposition has occurred.

We are thankful for support of the local media, elected officials, our stakeholders and our community that has opened the door to more clearly establish the terms under which we can continue at the airport — and clear away any confusion or misunderstanding related to our request for continued programming.

Members of

National Road Autosport LLC

 

1
Text Only
Editorials
  • Not a villain Not a villain

    Time was that we looked for heroes. Heroes of the make-believe variety have sold a lot of comic books. We also had real-life heroes like Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whose deaths the whole nation mourned.
    These days, we seem to be more interested in looking for villains. “Vote for me because I’m the good guy” has taken a back seat to “Don’t vote for him, because he’s the bad guy.”

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • About time About time

    Although many Cumberland streets are in need of repair and improvements, the decision by city and county officials to address Greene Street is a good one.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Where is it?

    Once upon a time, the Maryland Chamber of Commerce held its annual conventions at the Bedford Springs resort hotel near Bedford, which is in Pennsylvania.

    July 28, 2014

  • Korean War Korean War

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sloppy lawmaking is to blame

    July 27, 2014

  • C-minus grade C-minus grade

    If a survey conducted by Thumbtack.com and the Kaufman Foundation is an accurate portrayal, Maryland has a long way to go to become a business-friendly state.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Big loophole Big loophole

    How ironic — and how sad — that the Potomac Highlands Airport Authority plans a closed executive session to discuss the open meetings law.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don’t do it. Don’t do it

    Temperatures have been moderate recently but are projected to rise to the upper 80s and low 90s later this week, so we want to remind you: Never leave children unattended in a vehicle.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo