Local officials have not given up on returning the state police aviation unit to the Williamsport Regional Airport.
Renewed calls for bringing back the state police helicopter used for many years to provide aerial support to local law enforcement agencies and to assist in non-emergency situations and for rescue and support operations were heard at Wednesday night's Lycoming/Sullivan Boroughs Association meeting.
Tonya Anderson, an aide to state Rep. Rick Mirabito, D-Williamsport, told municipal officials that "the helicopter belongs here."
The helicopter was moved to Hazleton despite efforts by Mirabito, state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, and state Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, to have it remain in Lycoming County.
Lawmakers repeatedly have claimed state police officials have never provided viable reasons for the relocation of the aircraft.
And they have questioned why it was moved to a higher elevation where frequent cloud cover brings a much greater chance for aircraft to be grounded.
Mark Murawski, transportation director for the Lycoming County Planning Commission, said state police cited budgetary reasons for the decision.
"Prove to me this is not political," Murawski said. "Show us the budget savings."