Summer Steamship and Airline Traffic Up
Sara Brown

As the Island starts to transition from summer crowds to autumn quiet, the Steamship Authority is reporting that traffic was up compared with last year.

“The summer was good; the traffic has been good,” Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson told the Gazette this week.

June passenger traffic to the Vineyard was up by 4.7 per cent; July passenger traffic saw a decrease of 1.9 per cent; and August traffic was up by 7.2 per cent compared with 2011, according to Steamship Authority data. Passenger traffic is up 4.6 per cent for the year to date.

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National Guard Personnel Bolster Security Measures at the Vineyard Airport
Mandy Locke

National Guard detachments will arrive at the Martha's Vineyard Airport soon to help strengthen security operations.

Acting Gov. Jane Swift announced this week that National Guardsmen will be sent to several airports across the state.

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New Airline Inaugurates Service to Island; PanAm Affiliate Expands Mainland Links
Joshua Sabatini

A third commercial airline has launched service to Martha's Vineyard Airport, joining Cape Air and the returning US Airways Express in serving Islanders while providing residents and visitors with additional airports to fly directly to and from.

Boston-Maine Airways, an affiliate of Pan American Airways based in Portsmouth, N.H., last Friday saw its inaugural flight from headquarters land at the Vineyard airport around noon. Airline officials proceeded to the terminal for a ceremony marking the start of the carrier's summer Island service.

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Falling Short of Runway, Plane Plunges into Brush; Pilot and Passenger Hurt
Chris Burrell

The pilot and passenger of a single engine plane apparently escaped serious injury last evening after crashing their four-seater Mooney aircraft into the scrub oak and low brush just a couple hundred yards shy of the approach to runway 15 at the Martha's Vineyard Airport.

Police and ambulance crews from at least four Island towns responded, shortly after 6 p.m., to the scene at the border of the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest and the airport, finding a dismembered plane and two men, both conscious.

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Commission Names Manager of Airport
James Kinsella

Island residency proved the trump card for Sean Flynn, who was selected as manager of Martha's Vineyard Airport on Wednesday night in a 4-3 vote of the airport commission.

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County Commission Postpones Discussion on the Airport Case
James Kinsella

The sword of Damocles apparently will dangle a while longer over the finances of Dukes County government.

The county commission tentatively had slated a meeting for tomorrow with the finance advisory board to discuss strategy in what could be a major legal judgment against the county. But county manager E. Winn Davis said yesterday the meeting had been canceled.

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Airlines Say Summer Numbers Steady Despite Cost of Fuel, Dipping Economy
Julia Rappaport

Despite sky-high fuel prices and a slumping economy, early numbers released by the Martha’s Vineyard Airport this week show a summer season only slightly slower than last year. “We’re staying encouraged here,” said airport manager Sean Flynn this week.

Mr. Flynn reported a 6.4 per cent drop over last year in the number of commercial passengers leaving the Vineyard in May, June and July.

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Airport to Conduct Emergency Response Plan Test

The Martha’s Vineyard Airport in association with responders from the Island’s police, fire, emergency medical service and other service providers will be conducting an exercise of the airport’s emergency response plan between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 15, at the airport.

This exercise is a requirement of the Federal Aviation Administration and is conducted once every three years to assist in the emergency response preparedness.

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Emerging Technology Tested at Airport
Mike Seccombe

Vineyarders Jonathan and Linda M. Haar work in wind power technology, but one thing they share with wind energy opponents is an objection to seeing enormous towers built in pristine places.

And their concern is not just aesthetic, but practical. It would, they reasoned, make much more sense to generate the power as close as possible to where the power is used.

Hence their innovative new turbine, tested for the first time at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport this week: a turbine standing just 20 feet tall, intended to be mounted on city buildings.

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Emergency Scramble After Lightning Strike at Airport
Remy Tumin

Lightning struck the Martha’s Vineyard Airport during a series of thunderstorms that swept the Island over the weekend, knocking out the Islandwide emergency communications center computer server that operates in the main tower. The Dukes County Sheriff said yesterday damage and lost equipment were estimated at $100,000.

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