Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Grant County, Washington: Air Force seeks airspace closure for training

MOSES LAKE — The commission overseeing the Port of Moses Lake will be holding a public hearing sometime in late May to consider a request from the U.S. Air Force to temporarily close air space over and around the Grant County International Airport for training.

According to Port Director Jeffry Bishop, the Air Force wants to test the maneuverability of its new KC-47 tanker under “simulated enemy activity.”

“They are asking for four, four-hour blocks on a Saturday and Sunday, with one to hours in-between,” Bishop told commissioners during a regular meeting Monday morning.

The Air Force has used Grant County for special training in early October, 2016, Bishop said.

“What’s unique about this is that during the exercise, it would be more complicated, with moving aircraft and moving ground equipment,” Bishop said.

The airspace would be closed during the four-hour training blocks, Bishop said, but the air traffic control center would still be in charge, and could cancel the tests in the event of an emergency.

“Flight testing and supporting the military is a big part of our mission. Sixty-six percent of our income comes from the military,” Bishop said. “We do not enter into these lightly.”

“I think it’s a big deal, anything we can do to support the military without screwing things up around here we should do,” said Commission Chair David “Kent” Jones.

The port will announce a formal date for the public hearing soon.

Original article ➤ http://www.columbiabasinherald.com

No comments: