County purchase could keep Washington airport operating
In a decision that consolidates airport ownership with its tax base, Pierce County in Washington State has decided to purchase Tacoma Narrows Airport from the city of Tacoma. AOPA has been fighting for the airport since 2006, when the city considered closing the field.
In the past, the airport was a source of contention because the city was responsible for its operating expenses while tax revenue went to the county. As a result, in 2006 the city manager considered closing the airport. But AOPA intervened, reminding city officials that federal grant obligations and the airport’s status as part of the National Plan for Integrated Airport Systems demanded the continued operation of the airport.
The unanimous vote on Sept. 30 by the Pierce County Council to purchase the airport should resolve many of the problems facing the field, AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Joe Faherty reports. County officials expect a small profit in 2009, compared to the losses faced by the city. In addition, plans for future park development on non-buildable areas of the airport could protect the field from encroachment and provide walking and horse trails to the larger community.
October 20, 2008