In an editorial in the Republican, the editors come out swinging in support of their local airport, Bradley.

“It might take some time before Bradley International Airport’s new daily non-stop service to Amsterdam can compete with Boston’s Logan Airport or New York’s JFK. But a group of local business leaders and elected officials on Sunday’s Northwest Airlines inaugural flight from Windsor Locks is hoping to give the major metropolitan airports a run for their money.

The group of about a dozen Western Massachusetts tourism and government officials and 50 of their counterparts from Hartford and elsewhere in Connecticut made the Northwest-KLM flight with a mission to introduce the Springfield-Hartford region to European business and pleasure travelers.

Allan W. Blair, president of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts, hopes to forge ties with European companies that might work with local companies in such clusters as machinery and manufacturing and the biotech and the pharmaceutical industries.

Although a lot of European companies are interested in Massachusetts because of its reputation as a research and development center, many are unaware of the character and cost advantages of Western New England and the so-called Knowledge Corridor between Springfield and Hartford. European companies inaccurately equate the costs of Boston or New York with doing business in New England, Blair said. This trip is a chance to open their eyes.

Mary Kay Wydra, president of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Joseph E. Carvahlo III, president of the Springfield Museums Association, and Peter Rosskothen, co-owner of the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House and the Delaney House, will make presentations to tour operators in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and in nearby Dusseldorf, Germany.

Local officials are in a position to begin a beautiful friendship between the Pioneer Valley and the 144 European and Middle Eastern cities that are an easy flight from Amsterdam. Wish them luck and a safe return.

Look out Logan and JFK. Bradley International Airport is coming up in the rear-view mirror.