March 4, 2010
By Dave Hirschman
AOPA is urging area pilots and businesses to support Vista Field in Washington state by attending a March 8 meeting that could decide the facility’s future.
The Port of Kennewick Commission, which owns Vista Field, has scheduled the decisive meeting to begin at 6 p.m. at the Benton PUD Auditorium in Kennewick. City officials are trying to close the airport and redevelop the land as commercial real estate. AOPA Airport Support Network Volunteer Marjy Leggett is arranging ground transportation and overnight accommodations for pilots who fly in to attend the meeting.
AOPA has consistently backed airport supporters and the Washington Pilots Association in their ongoing efforts to preserve Vista Field.
“AOPA strongly supports the continued operation of Vista Field and asks that the Port Commission vote to keep it open,” AOPA Airport Policy Manager John Collins wrote in a March 1 letter to the commission. “It serves as the aerial front door for Kennewick and the communities on the south side of the Columbia River.”
Vista Field was built during World War II for military airplanes based at Pasco, Wash., and was later converted to civilian use. It’s currently used for emergency services, law enforcement, aerial firefighting, search and rescue, and pilots who fly for business and recreation.
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