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'No one wants it moved': Naples woman pushes petition to keep airport where it is

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 07, 2024

NAPLES, Fla. — Amid talks to relocate the Naples Airport elsewhere, some locals are rallying to keep it right where it is.

Christel Johnson, a broker who runs a local real estate company, says there's really no good reason to move the airport, which has been in Naples for over 80 years.

Johnson, who has worked in the aviation industry for years, has started a petition to halt discussions about relocating the Naples Airport.

"In just one hour, I got 250 people to sign it online," she said. "By the next meeting, we'll show them that nobody wants the airport moved."

Airport data shows that over the past few years, hundreds of comments have come in from people regarding noise pollution from the airport.

Johnson believes these concerns represent only a small minority and says the entire idea of moving the airport stems from a Naples Airport commissioner bringing it up during meetings.

"This petition is a direct response to that," Johnson told Fox 4. "Moving the airport doesn't make sense. It's been here for 80 years, providing jobs and supporting local businesses. Nobody wants it moved."

The Naples Airport Authority has invested over $10 million in noise mitigation programs since 2000. While noise complaints persist, the airport reports 36% fewer noise comments year over year.

"So while it would be great to try to control that, there's a lot of things we can't control. The ambulances, the traffic on the bridges," Johnson said about development. "Everything's gotten a little bit busier but that doesn't mean we can actually move a highway because we don't like it in our backyard anymore."

There are currently no immediate plans to move the airport and the airport authority is still studying the feasibility of moving it to another area within the county.

Any decision on relocation is likely several years away.