AOPA Sends letter to Port in Kennewick Concerning Vista Field - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

AOPA Sends letter to Port in Kennewick Concerning Future of Vista Field

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association is encouraging the Port of Kennewick to make a decision that favors the future of Vista Field.

AOPA sent port commissioners a letter this week saying they created a master plan in 2011 that offered a "bright future" for Vista Field, "even as it struggled to find a fixed base operator." AOPA urge the port not to give that up and to choose to expand the airport.

AOPA presented two examples of airport sponsors, like the Port of Kennewick, that either choose to close the airport itself and develop the property of sold off property to turn into a mixed-use development, similar to the redevelopment alternative port commissioners are currently leaning towards for Vista Field.

In the letter, AOPA says that the two examples of airport sponsors' redevelopment plans did not materialize because there was no market for the size and scope of the planned development.

AOPA says "in today's economy, we believe maintaining Vista Field as an airport is the best use of the property. In the future, the airport will continue to allow Kennewick residents to take advantage of advances in aviation technology that will make use of aircraft for business and personal travel even cheaper, cleaner, and more quiet than it is today."

Last month, the port commissioners said they plan to come to a decision in April whether the issue will go to a vote of the people or the commissioners.

The Port of Kennewick will hold a special meeting and public hearing on Wednesday, April 17th at 7 PM to receive comments from the public regarding the alternatives for Vista Field. The public hearing will be at the Tri-Cities Business & Visitor Center on W. Grandridge Blvd. in Kennewick.