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Letter to the Editor: Tri-state area needs regional airport

Sunday, July 10, 2005

To the editor;

The tri-state area generally bounded by Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, Mo., and Paducah, Ky. Harrisburg, Marion and Carbondale in Illinois have no major airline service or limited service. Yet this area is bound together economically as shown by the advertising on the network television local affiliates. Unfortunately, passengers often resort to land travel to airports in St. Louis, Memphis or Evansville, Ind., for airline service.

A tri-state airport in the center of this area would serve these cities and could be the basis for upgrading airline connections. A major tri-state airport five miles west of Vienna, Ill., would well serve the "Missilky" (Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky) area. An interstate highway from the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge in Cape Girardeau would be needed to facilitate the Missouri traffic.

The combined 2000 census population base of the cities involved is 125,224, not counting the adjacent smaller cities or rural population.

One is reminded of the story of the prisoners being transported by bus. At a lunch break, they are split up into two rooms. Each group is handcuffed together. The restaurant manager sees that no one in one group is eating. Instead, the group is arguing over who should get to lift his spoon first. In the other room, everyone is eating, with adjacent prisoners taking turns lifting the spoon to feed a fellow prisoner. Perhaps there is a moral in this story somewhere.

CARL ARMSTRONG, Cape Girardeau