Letter: Vista Field community asset that should be improved, marketed

April 16, 2013 

Why is all the effort and money being wasted on continual studies of what the best plan for disposal of Vista Field should be? The focus should be directed on how to promote its use as a private/corporate airport located conveniently in the center of Kennewick's businesses and convention district as an incredible asset.

The continuing development around Vista Field should be viewed as how do we take advantage of this asset? Just imagine an airport you can land at and are virtually within walking/bicycling distance to hotels, restaurants, shopping, business complexes, and convention and sport centers. The airport is here now and operational. If gone, it will never exist again. The expense to create what we currently have would be prohibitive.

I see that it lacks management and marketing. The Port of Kennewick, which manages Clover Island Marina with staff and personnel, should begin by transferring someone on site as airport manager with the direction to promote and manage this asset. Services at the marina are, for the most part, self serve.

Let's see if we can apply this model to Vista Field with ATM payment. Organize an airport host, similar to campground hosts, from interested tenants or enthusiasts to greet and inform new arrivals. Vista does not have to have the standard FBO model to be successful; it's a destination. Mobile service would be used for operators to provide confidence that services are available if needed.

In the end, removing the continual uncertainty of Vista Field's destiny may allow it to grow and flourish for those who see opportunity.

AL TICKNOR, Kennewick

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