Bringing Opa-Locka Airport Back To Life
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    Exclamation Bringing Opa-Locka Airport Back To Life

    Bringing Opa-Locka Airport Back To Life

    OPA-LOCKA (CBS4) ― It may not look like much now, but Opa-Locka Executive Airport used to be a gem in the aviation world. It served as a very large air station for the navy and the marines during the Korean War, and in 1967, it was the world's busiest airport.

    Johnny Barber lives just a few blocks away, and had no idea about that history because the airport he sees now is slow and quiet. He likes that because it keeps traffic out of his area, but it doesn't provide much in terms of jobs and investment to the area.

    "If they're going to bring it back, that type of prominence back to it hopefully it will be a good thing," said Barber.

    To be candid, the development of Opa-Locka Airport has left a lot to be desired," said Frank Nero, head of the Beacon Council. "There's lots of reasons for that, some having to do with very restrictive leases, some having to do with FAA approvals, but I think that log jam has finally been broken."

    The Beacon Council is a non-profit company that hast the mission of boosting Miami-Dade's economy. They are now negotiating with a German airplane manufacturer to get the company to set up shop here—bringing at least 400 jobs and millions of dollars of investment to the project.

    That's great news for the hundreds of students learning how to manufacture and repair airplanes here in town.

    "It means a great deal for us, it provides our students another opportunity for another high-pay, high-wage, high-skill job."

    Also, county commissioners voted to lease more than 100 acres of the airport's land to the Meek Foundation. The foundation plans to work with a developer and build airplane hangars, warehouses, and even restaurants here. It's expected to bring in more than 1500 new jobs. Barber is for the development, as long as the investment stays local.

    "If they want to bring jobs to the neighborhood, hopefully they're people within this demographical area that will take the benefit from that," said Barber.


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