Cruising altitude

Honda Aircraft Co. is seeking to score big in passenger aviation by thinking small.

So it created the HondaJet, which is compact and nimble and designed to get handfuls of business travelers from Point A to Point B comfortably and efficiently.

So far, so good.

Honda Aircraft, which is headquartered in Greensboro, recently announced that it is expanding its operation at PTI Airport with a new $15.5 million, 82,000-square-foot facility.

The new space will be used to manufacture wings for the HondaJet Elite model.

The expansion continues a trend of steady growth. In 2011, HondaJet announced a $78.7 million expansion that would include a maintenance and repair center, a components manufacturing facility and a parts/distribution warehouse. That five-year initiative was expected to create 419 new jobs.

And although the new wings facility will not bring with it new jobs, it is another hopeful sign that HondaJet has both staying power and a firm commitment to the Triad.

HondaJet’s quiet success here also is a reminder of the critical role Piedmont Triad International Airport plays in the local economy.

Another aviation-related business near the airport, HAECO Americas (formerly TIMCO), is one of the world’s largest aircraft maintenance and repair companies. HAECO last year opened a new $60 million hangar at PTI designed to service large aircraft.

As for Honda Aircraft, even without additional jobs the expansion is a major investment in the company’s future.

And a vote of confidence in the Triad.

What could go wrong?

Don’t look before crossing the street.

Don’t wash your hands before eating.

Don’t wear a hard hat in a construction zone.

Seat belts? Who needs them?

As for those mysterious pills in that prescription bottle with the missing label?

Take ’em. What’s the worst that could happen?

This seems to be the attitude of some lawmakers in Raleigh, who obviously see nothing wrong with dumping electronic waste into landfills instead of recycling it.

Approved last week by a Senate committee, SB 553 would erase the state’s current ban against disposing of castoff computers and televisions into landfills. That means that the harmful chemicals that these appliances tend to contain — mercury, lead, beryllium, cadmium and the like — would wind up back in landfills, where they could seep into groundwater.

Not only is that dangerous, it’s dumb.

A Senate Republican, Andy Wells, of Hickory, cited the ups and downs in the recycling industry, and, therefore, ebbs and flows in demand for such waste, as one reason to support the bill.

But the Carolina Recycling Association disagrees, noting in a news release that, if anything, the legislation would hurt the industry and threaten jobs.

“This action puts North Carolina’s environmental quality and electronics recycling industry in jeopardy ... ,” the release says.

Wells, the GOP lawmaker, also contended that the bill makes sense because devices such as flat-screen televisions are slimmer and trimmer in their design, and thus would require less space in landfills.

But landfill space is not the issue. The issue is protecting public safety and health by preventing pollution.

Raleigh lawmakers have tried this reckless gambit before.

“This is like a bad penny that keeps turning up,” Sen. Mike Woodard, a Durham Democrat, told The News & Observer of Raleigh.

What’s clearly not worth recycling appears to be this ill-conceived legislation.

Throw it in a landfill. And bury it there.

Make sure you never miss our editorials, letters to the editor and columnists. We’ll deliver the News & Record's Opinion page straight to your inbox.