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County, Environmentalists Prepare For Battle Over Everglades Air Show


Miami-Dade County leaders and local environmental groups appear to be on a collision course over a potential air show in the Everglades. The event could start as soon as 2017 and would be more industry expo than high-flying stunt show.

The problem arises from the proposed site: The Dade-Collier Training and Transition Airport. The far-flung airport - originally called the “jetport” - was intended to be the largest airport in world but became a major issue for conservation groups.Doug Hanks covers Miami-Dade County for the Miami Herald and says the airport is about 50-miles away from downtown Miami and was built about 50 years ago.

“It’s so far west it’s really in Collier County - just on the edge", explain Hanks. "And if someone needs to do like, sort of like, test flights or get their hours in or do some test landings they’ll do it here. It’s got a huge, huge runway. But it’s just not used as much as any of the other airports.”

The airport is surrounded by the Big Cypress National Preserve. County officials say they would only use the airport once they’re sure the new air show wouldn’t put the Everglades at risk.

But some environmental groups are already voicing their objection to the plan, saying it could open the door to more events at the remote airport.