Conference Shines Light on Economic Impact of Regional Airports

Maryland’s economic development professionals will turn their attention to the state’s aviation industry at the Maryland Economic Development Association’s (MEDA) summer conference Wednesday, June 12 at the Southern Maryland Higher Education Center. “Aviation in Maryland: An Economic Engine, Jobs Generator and Business Development Opportunity,” will examine the economic impact of the state’s three-dozen airports, and feature expert panelist addressing how communities can capitalize on these resources and help meet the industry’s future workforce needs.

“Maryland’s airports are tremendous economic engines for their communities, and they are poised for growth in the future,” said Lawrence Tweele, president/CEO of Howard County Economic Development Authority and MEDA’s President.

Keasha Haythe, MEDA’s Vice President and Dorchester’s economic development director – whose office is located in the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport – sees firsthand every day the impact of the county’s airfield on Bucktown Road. “While many people are familiar with Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), far fewer are aware that Maryland has 36 public use airports,” Haythe said, adding, “Dorchester’s airport, three miles from downtown Cambridge and a mile off of U.S. Route 50, provides an important transportation hub to businesses based or working on the Eastern Shore.”

With 37 aircraft based at the field, the Cambridge-Dorchester Airport averages 79 flight operations (a take off or landing) every day.  Haythe will moderate a panel focusing on the impact and opportunities of general and business aviation. Panel members include Ashish Solanki, director of Maryland’s Office of Regional Aviation Assistance; Jaime Giandomenico, manager of the Ocean City Municipal Airport and president of the Maryland Airport Managers Association; and Robert Schulte, partner at Schulte-Boothe.

Paul Wiedefeld, executive director and CEO of BWI, will open the conference which is open to the public. The conference takes place from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm at the Southern and costs $65 and for MEDA members and $85 for non-members. For information, visit www.medamd.com.