I agree with Kirk Williamson's letter, (Jan. 29), that the Vista airport must close. Its short runway only allows small aircraft to use it, thus classifying it as a "non-real" airport by the Federal Aviation Administration. The airport, therefore, never receives federal grant money, unlike the millions received by the FAA-approved Pasco and Richland airports. A previous consultant's study of Vista Field concluded that the other two airports can meet the demands for air transportation as this region grows. Vista Field will attract mostly recreational aircraft, and without grant money, it can only increase the financial burden on local taxpayers. However, closing the airport and developing Vista Field with new hotels, business offices, shops, and improved event facilities will result in millions from tax revenues and from out-of-town visitors attending trade shows and conventions.
With the current consultant's study results, there is no comparison in financial benefits between keeping the non-real airport open versus closing it. Unless people learn the truth and support closing this money pit, our taxes will increase, and Kennewick will miss out on an improved quality of life from millions that would come from the development of Vista Field.
-- BOB OGATA, Kennewick