More Airfields Equals More Opportunities
Furleigh, Daniel C.
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Owning and operating airports is an expensive business. For many local governments and private corporations involved, the business of airport management can be extremely lucrative when the facility and the operation are effectively and efficiently administered. For the DoD, airport management is a huge expense. During this time of historic budget reductions, one wonders whether the existing portfolio of military airfields can be sustained. The U.S. Air Force portfolio of airfields currently in place in the European theater is the focus of this research project because the United States has an extensive and long-standing inventory of airfields there. Ultimately, this thesis asks whether significant strategic and political changes necessitate a different approach to U.S. military airport management in Europe. The U.S. Air Force should stay in Europe, but it should convert some of its heavy, main operating bases to more flexible, lighter installations for both economic and strategic reasons.
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