Local officials have been claiming they have not received adequate explanation for the shutdown of the state police aviation unit that formerly operated out of the Williamsport Regional Airport.
Apparently, they will get their chance to confront some state personnel about the decision Thursday.
The State Senate Law and Justice Committee and State House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Corrections will be holding a public hearing of sorts tomorrow at the Pennsylvania College of Technology to discuss state police coverage in the region.
We say "of sorts" because, due to time constraints, there will not be an opportunity for public comments at the hearing.
But we trust local law enforcement officials and others will be making their point at the 1 p.m. hearing at the Mountain Laurel Room of the Professional Development Center.
Up until this year, state police maintained a presence at the airport, operating a fixed-wing airplane and helicopter to provide aerial support to federal and local law enforcement agencies and assist in non-emergency situations. There were search rescues, vehicle pursuits, criminal surveillance and crime and traffic scene photography emanating out of the aviation unit.
Those services were moved without explanation to the Hazleton Municipal Airport this year.
It's awfully late in the game for a change in plans, so we hope this hearing isn't just window dressing, with no intent to actually act on the case for the local aviation unit that is likely to be presented. At the very least, we want to hear some logical reason why the aviation unit was removed from here and why it was done with so little explanation.