President and CEO of Erickson, Jeff Roberts, says the decision was based off a lack of community support. Roberts says they will pursue a different, more financially rewarding location. In a statement, Roberts spoke about the community members that raised concerns about the site’s noise impacts, saying quote:
“It is also important to point out that Illinois Valley is the only airport to have raised unfounded and uninformed concerns and issues. There is no legal reason to inhibit us from operating at Illinois Valley Airport and your community could benefit from our business. However, we will select another location that has put forth a comprehensive offer that has a more rewarding financial consideration and includes fully informed and knowledgeable community support. We thank you, Larry, for your leadership and support. Good luck with the airport, and we wish the community well.”
Larry Graves is the manager of Josephine County airports. He likewise expressed disdain at the actions of some in the community, responding to Erickson saying:
“Unfortunately, a few local ‘community organizers’ sounded the alarm, directed their minions to flood the internet with ignorant and uninformed comments, demands and ‘formal complaints’ to the FAA, and won their battle; they have established their dominion over Josephine County airport policy, and Erickson is gone.”
There’s no word yet what facility Erickson is now considering following this decision.
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