By 2023, business jet operations at Easton Airport (ESN) in Maryland will nearly double what they are today, according to a forecast released recently by Delta Airport Consultants.
Annual business operations are projected to go from today’s 8,600 to 16,800 over the next 20 years. The number of business jets based at Easton will nearly double, too, the report says. Roy Lewis, who managed the report project, calls that a key point. “People who fly in business jets are not doing it for fun. They’re bringing jobs to the community. They’re bringing investment to the community,” he said.
Business operations are an important part of the 160,000 total annual operations currently supported by ESN, making it the third-busiest airport in Maryland.
Lewis told the Talbot County Council, owners of the airport, that the study tells how much the airport will be used and “what you need to do to support that.” He said that two obvious requirements are more hangar space for corporate jets and longer runways.
The study is one result of a 2003 decision by the County Council to consider converting the airport’s secondary runway, 15/33, to primary use in response to safety concerns expressed by the FAA. The council favored the conversion, requiring a runway extension to the northwest and relocation of a county road, over alternatives that would have affected a major highway, a factory and a mobile home community.