By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig will ask Oneonta Common Council to approve the re-naming of the Oneonta Municipal Airport in honor of Sam Nader at their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
“At our airport, I recently participated in the first graduation of Oneonta Job Corps’ Drone Operator program,” said Herzig. “While doing so, I could not help but think that this event would never have taken place if not for Mayor Sam Nader’s determination to realize his vision of an Oneonta Airport.”
When Nader ran for mayor in 1962, he supported a new airport, which newspapers at the time called “Nader’s Folly.”
“I said the issue was more important than any individual, and I would risk defeat to have an airport,” Nader said in an interview with the Hometown Oneonta in September 2016.
On Dec. 1, 1964, Common Council voted to proceed with plans to build a hangar, airport building, and fuel and service for aircraft, and on Sept. 17, 1966, with Lt. Gov. Malcolm Wilson and Congressman Stratton leading the list of VIPs, the the Oneonta Municipal Airport was launched. “Everybody who was anybody was there,” said Nader, who joined an inaugural flight to Syracuse the following day.
On June 24, 2017, the terminal was named for Dennis Finn, a prominent civil leader and a member of the airport commission, following his sudden death on May 18, 2017 at age 77.
Council will need to vote to approve the change.
“As we look to the future and to the role our airport can play in this region’s economy, we should always remember its past,” said Herzig. “I believe that Oneonta’s Sam Nader Municipal Airport will help to lead both Oneonta and Otsego County’s future economy and quality of life. Thank you, Sam, for a job well done.”