Tuttle Aviation Leaves Vista Field Airport - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tuttle Aviation Leaves Vista Field Airport

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KENNEWICK, Wash.-- Tuttle Aviation is shutting down its services at Vista Field Airport starting July 1st. A decision some aviation experts say is strictly business, because a clause in the lease will favor the company.

"If the port was to terminate his contract early, they would pay him $75,000 to him, prior to the expiration of his contract," said John Dobson, with the Washington Pilots Association.

But while Tuttle closes its doors, the Port of Kennewick faces another issue. A letter from the state Department of Transportation.

"In essence it asks the port to take no further action on the future of Vista field until the LATS study is completed in July 2009," said Tim Arntzen, Port Executive Director.  

Port Executive Director Tim Arntzen, joined Port Commissioners on the phone during a meeting on Tuesday. He says the port should take some time before making decisions.

"I don't think we need to take any action today,"

Since 2005 Tuttle Aviation has provided engine maintenance and flight training for more than 100 customers. The Washington Pilots Association says pilots will have to find a new place to get assistance.

"If you land at the airport and you're AOG, aircraft on ground, and you have a broken engine part and you need it fixed, and if Dan leaves there will be no one there to give service," said Dobson.