Future of Vista Field Open for Public Comment - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Future of Vista Field Open for Public Comment

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A new study commissioned by the Port of Kennewick takes a look at possible alternative uses for Vista Field Airport.

Now, commissioners want to hear from the public before they make a decision on the airport's future.

The land at Vista Field could be the future downtown Kennewick. There are plans to potentially develop it into a commercial space or to update the current airport facilities. But the fate of the land depends on what the people of Kennewick tell port commissioners that they think is best.

Vista Field's future is uncertain, but one thing is for sure, the airport is losing money and ideas are on the table to turn things around.

Vista Field is used by small planes like this one at Cadwell Laboratories. They depend on the runway to transport products and invested in the property recently as part of the port's commitment to keep Vista Field open.

"Putting about three million into our facility here. We built a two million dollar building. We're remodeling our existing building for about another million dollars. We're added on a large loading dock already," said Carl Cadwell, president of Cadwell Laboratories.

Cadwell said the local companies that use Vista Field and bring in business to the area can't be forgotten.

He isn't opposed to commercial development in the area, but wants the Port to invest in the airport too.

"It's a beautiful layout that they've done and you can have both. Because both are not going to happen immediately. You have plenty of time to assess without saying, oh tomorrow we're shutting down Vista Field," Cadwell said.

But the Port of Kennewick said the plans don't allow for everything.

"One is a no action alternative. One is an enhanced or expanded airport. And one is a redevelopment site. The study looks at three different options not a combination of those various options," said Larry Peterson, Director of Planning and Development at the Port of Kennewick.

Now the Port is turning to the public for comment on what they think this land should be used for.

"This is a public asset in the heart of the community. There are 125,000 tax payers in the district. We need to hear from the tax payers and the community what they would like the port to do with their asset," Peterson said.

If you want to share your thoughts on what should happen with Vista field, you have 30 days to do it.

You can respond by email to VistaField@PortOfKennewick.org.

You can respond in writing to Port of Kennewick, 350 Clover Island Drive, Suite 200, Kennewick, WA 99336.

Or at a public hearing on January 24th from 7pm to 9pm at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center, 7130 W. Grandridge Boulevard, Kennewick, WA.

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