I’m sorry I will be out of town during the County Council meeting when acquisition of the Tacoma Narrows Airport will be considered.
I am personally convinced that the airport can be a job engine for the county, a positive aspect to the economic future of the area and its residents and an important link to our country’s airport system.
As you know I have been involved in aviation since moving to Pierce County in 1970, publishing a newspaper for the general aviation community nationwide. During these years I’veflown from one end of this country to the other, often utilizing a private plane, and often flying in and out of Tacoma Narrows Airport.
An airport is a vital part of a growing, progressive community. Just as highways, streets and bridges are needed, so are airports. The business world – you can spell that jobs and economic progress – goes to where airports are located. This doesn’t mean facilities operated primarily for airlines. It means airports like Tacoma Narrows where businesses know their executives and technicians can gain fast, efficient and safe access.
There’s another point that’s important, too.
Not every airplane is flown for business. Just as many yachts and motor homes are used for recreation and family activities, so many people make similar use of a private plane, often at a personal cost far less than boats and motor homes. Most light planes are owned, maintained and flown by your neighbors and friends who aren’t millionaires; they work for a weekly paycheck.
The highways and waterways, bridges and numerous other public facilities are built and maintained by and for the public at public expense. They aren’t operated at a profit. Airports are in the same category. Aviation is safe and efficient. It removes cars from highways and operate through the air without creating additional pollution.
The Tacoma Narrows Airport is a safe, attractive airport that is needed. It also can be operated profitably, even though that should not be a factor in the discussion.