Local Politics

Navy to look west for landing field

Posted January 27, 2011

— The U.S. Navy announced Thursday that it has halted plans to build a landing field in eastern North Carolina for fighter jets and will look to the West Coast for a site.

Lt. Paul Macapagal, a Navy spokesman, said the idea of an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) on the East Coast is off the table until at least 2014.

"The Navy is suspending release of and stopping work on the Outlying Landing Field Draft Environmental Impact Statement until the East Coast Navy Joint Strike Fighter basing and training requirements are better defined," he said.

North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue, legislative leaders, environmental groups and residents of Camden, Currituck, Hertford and Gates counties had raised concerns that the OLF would be noisy and disruptive.

A 2005 land-use study showed the Navy encountering increasingly crowded conditions for flight operations in and around Virginia Beach, Va., and recommended that the Navy “pursue development of an additional outlying landing field in North Carolina” to alleviate the impact of growth in southeastern Virginia.

North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan have both spoken out against the plan as well.

On Thursday, Hagan responded positively to the news.

"I am thrilled that the Navy is suspending and stopping work on the Outlying Landing Field Draft Environmental Impact Statement," she said in a statement.

"We do not want an OLF in northeastern North Carolina. The people I meet with are absolutely outraged at the prospect of an OLF in their backyards, and I have been working to prevent it. I will continue to make the case in Congress that the Navy must not build an OLF in northeastern North Carolina."

Local leaders chimed in with a chorus of compliments.

“The Navy made the right decision,” said Currituck County Commissioner Vance Aydlett Jr.

“From grassroots citizen groups to school children, our community bonded together to protect our region’s quality of life,” said Sandra Duckwall, chairwoman of the Camden County Board of Commissioners.

The Navy will turn its attention to possible landing fields in Imperial or Kings County, Calif., and has scheduled public hearings in those locations next month.

According to the Navy, an east coast location could come under consideration again no sooner than 2014.


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  • tired2 Jan 28, 2011

    To lma1973....as I have consistently seen on numerous topics - people want but are not willing to give up $$ to fund what they complain about not having.

  • ccacrabbitdog Jan 28, 2011

    Gov. Bev Perdue, legislative leaders, environmental groups and residents of Camden, Currituck, Hertford and Gates counties ......to the above you are all ignorant fools.....i bet if it was gonna bring in a bunch of money or jobs that wouldn't have issues....so much for "its not what your country can do for you, it's what you can do for your country".......i wish i had enough land to let them use....just saying.........

  • rayh Jan 28, 2011

    Put it on the gulf coast in mexico, nobody living there any more

  • lma1973 Jan 28, 2011

    I cant believe the US has mothballed the production of the F-22 Raptor (after making 18 units) after China just enveiled their first stealth fighter which is superior to our F-35 and equals our F-22. What is going on with our military?

  • dixieboy Jan 28, 2011

    There's still alot of available land around the old Camp Butner. They still have small arms ranges that are active practically day and night ( it's pretty cool too ) so We're pretty much used to alot of noise

  • quiturwhining Jan 28, 2011

    Thank you mswindell1978, ncpierrat, mpheels & the other few who provided some actual information on this subject to perhaps educate all the other people leaving ignorant reactionary comments. So tiresome! People lost no time in condemning the citizens who actually LIVE in the area of the proposed OLF--hmmm, you think maybe those folks might have understood the situation better than you armchair know-it-alls? And of course the vitriol has to be spewed at the other favorite scapegoats--liberals, environmentalists, the governor, etc. just for good measure. Folks just went all over the map with this one--we are gonna be in big trouble cause the military is gonna punish NC by moving EVERYTHING to the west & we won't have any planes over here when the east gets invaded(!). Brilliant. And all the while waving their little patriotic flags. Is it patriotic to be nasty to other citizens?

  • gotitmadecij Jan 28, 2011

    "Really disappointed and embarassed by my fellow North Carolinians. Our military supports and protects our country every day. You don't want a "landing field in your backyards because of noise"!!! How ignorant can you be?? Don't you know that those jet sounds are the SOUNDS OF FREEDOM!!! Wake up! SuzyQ"

    Well hot diggity SuzyQ, the problem is solved, lets put the OLF where you live ..

  • yellow_hat Jan 28, 2011

    The number of people commenting on this that seem to have no idea of the facts is staggering. They hear "military" start waving the flag and just assume they must be right! Remember - the military is the home of the $600 hammer & $2000 toilet seat. Poor decision making and lack of concern for funding or the environment is in their DNA. They do what is in their best interests - there is not always some grand concern for national security or pride in every decision. There is no threat to national security if they practice landings in the millions of unoccupied acres in Nevada.

    This is 1) not going to cost any jobs (well OK, about half as many as one McDonalds employs and 2) not going to cause any other base closures. Base closures are 100% political, and have nothing to do with what the Military wants or even needs. They cannot control what bases close - congress does.

  • 3forme Jan 28, 2011

    what environmental damage and how much farmland?

  • 3forme Jan 28, 2011

    noisy and disruptive...welcome to the 21st century citizens of northeastern North Carolina..in case you folks haven't noticed there's a great big world out here.. what is their "quality of life" that makes them any better than the folks around Cherry Point and Ft Bragg and Seymour Johnson? You love having the military "close by" so you can get some of the benefits but not so close it bothers your way of life.. Careful what you ask for ...