Business leaders hear call for Newark airport in 1929

Staff Reports
Published 6:49 a.m. ET Oct. 24, 2020

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In celebration of The Advocate’s bicentennial, we are republishing historical articles from throughout our history on most Saturdays. Today’s selection appeared on the front page of the Oct. 31, 1929 edition. As with the major stories of the day, it included multiple headlines and no byline. To suggest a story for publication from our archives, send an email to advocate@newarkadvocate.com.

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Previously: Advocate at 200: Aviation interest is growing in 1929

Need Airport To Keep Pace With Progress

Newark’s Future under Handicap Without Airport

State director of aeronautics says business of future demands facilities offered by adequate airport.

“What is going to become of aviation?” was offered as a solution for the question “Does Newark Need An Airport?” by Colonel John N. Vorys, state director of aeronautics, at a meeting of about 75 business men in the Hotel Warden yesterday noon, sponsored by the Greater Newark Airport Committee.

Aviation itself does not need an airport in Newark, the speaker declared, but considering aviation primarily as a transportation facility it is the duty of the citizens of Newark to consider the future when Newark shall, or shall not be, on the air maps, marked with an adequate landing field and hangars.

The benefits of an airport will not be immediate, Mr. Vorys stated, but will be greatly felt by the future generations. They are the ones who will have to pay the greater share of the project and from a recent survey made among school children of Lima, where the same situation is faced, the younger generation is unanimous in its support of aviation.

Mr. Vorys, who recently conducted a questionnaire among 1200 children in the northern city, told his listeners that every one favored a port in Lima, that more than 200 had already flown, and that more than 50 per cent were able to answer technical questions concerning aviation.

“Aviation should be considered primarily from a transportation viewpoint,” Mr. Vorys said. “Consideration of this means of transportation is best made through the surveys and findings of insurance actuaries and in spite of the fact that the public attention was attracted to air accidents, the chance of being killed in air travel last year in a commercial licensed air line was less than one in 4,000. As a result, most insurance companies charge no additional rates for coverage by death in the air.

“What every community wants is to have more people move into its city and to establish themselves there, but unless that community offers as advanced progressive developments as countless other cities, that community will suffer.”

The speaker continued with the prophecy that unless the citizens of Newark were willing to pay the small amount needed to put across the issue that Newark in the future, off the air lines, without an airport, would be greatly handicapped in business competition which is yearly becoming keener. Especially is this true with Newark in the center of a strong business field, said Mr. Vorys.

The geographical location of Newark, he said, gives this city a natural advantage that many other cities, such as Columbus, do not possess. Newark is at the jumping-off place between the plains and valleys of the middlewest and the dangerous and treacherous Appalachian foothills.

“A survey of the airports between St. Louis and New York shows that between here and the eastern border of the state there are no adequate landing fields or airports for a large area extending in both directions. Wheeling is the closes and the field there is handicapped by being situated in the river flats.

“The great need of aviation at present in the United States,” Colonel Vorys said, “was not better airplanes, but better landing and ground facilities.” He said that the reason that the “Sohioan,” scheduled to bring him to Newark for his talk had to turn back was not because of bad weather, as rain did not affect present-day flying, but was because the pilot, Dewey Noise, realized that even though he would be able to land safely at Port Columbus, he would be obliged to land on an unchartered, unimproved local airport, without a runway for landing and taking off safely.

“Aviation has passed the experimental stage and is rapidly developing. Ohio, the ‘mother state of aviation,’ is leading the other states in the union in air markings and aviation development, and if Newark is to be a ‘third dimension city’ and keep pace with other cities in Ohio and the United States, an airport is a necessity.”

Preceding Mr. Vorys’ talk, James Tevlin of the national organization of Eagles, was introduced by the chairman, C. G. L. Yearick, who stated that his order was wholeheartedly in support of any (word missing) move, such as the airport, where the Eagles were represented. “No better barometer of a progressive city can be found than where the business men and citizens of a city are backing such progressive projects,” he stated.

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