AOPA President Phil Boyer and Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn met with Watsonville, California, city officials Wednesday to add national pressure to protect Watsonville Municipal Airport. The city is considering allowing more incompatible land use, including residential development that would threaten the airport. But Boyer reminded Mayor Ana Ventura Pheres that once the airport is gone, there's no getting it back. He told the mayor that the airport is a critical transportation element not only for the state, but also for the nation. Watsonville is the only public-use airport in Santa Cruz County, and it was a critical emergency transportation link for relief efforts following the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Boyer also committed to working with local pilots to stage an airport job fair to show area youth aviation employment opportunities.
June 9, 2005