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Opinion

Encroachment matters

Unless the Bureau of Indian Affairs can alter the existing prevailing wind, the approach for the contemplated new heavy aircraft will take it directly over the proposed casino real estate. If the proposal to build succeeds, the U.S. Air Force can lose the new tankers and a better solution might be to relocate Fairchild AFB to Moses Lake or close it. Commercial heavies have trained there for years and the danger to the underlying population is lessened.

As a member of the investigating team from Naval Air Station North Island, I remember what happened to NAS Miramar. In 1970, a flameout on approach initiated a devastating uncontrolled landing accident. Although it only involved the air station, the impact on the locale and civilian population was significant, and Miramar is no more.

Airport designers try to take in as many of the variables as possible, but prevailing wind patterns usually win out. Keep on locating civilian populations under flight patterns, and the airport eventually is forced to dangerously alter approach and departure routes, or even close.

Keep your eye on Naval Air Station Oceana in Norfolk, Va. Another casino, or a candidate for closure? Your pick, Airway Heights.

Robert Costigan

Spirit Lake


 

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Editorial: Washington state lawmakers scramble to keep public in the dark

State lawmakers want to create a legislative loophole in Washington’s Public Records Act. While it’s nice to see Democrats and Republicans working together for once, it’s just too bad that their agreement is that the public is the enemy. As The Spokesman-Review’s Olympia reporter Jim Camden explained Feb. 22, lawmakers could vote on a bill today responding to a court order that the people of Washington are entitled to review legislative records.