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Small planes a big deal at Eugene Airport

EUGENE, Ore. - Steve Boulton fires up a Lane Aviation Academy plane as he prepares to fly two patterns over the Eugene Airport.

Boulton, the flight school's director, said the FAA recently informed him that the school is responsible for nearly 1 in 4 takeoffs and landings at the airport.

"Our flight technology department is essential at maintaining the level of the tower at the Eugene Airport," Boulton said.

Because of this flight actvity, Noulton said it gives the Eugene Airport a higher rating.

He said commercial airlines are drawn to airports with higher rankings.

"More airlines flying, means more enplanements, which means more federal dollars to the airport," he said.

Without the flight school, Boulton said there would likely be cuts to airport staffing and services.

"The funding and the staffing of the tower would significantly be reduced and there would be cuts and services," he said. "Then at the very least it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to attract new airlines in."

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