Local News

Navy To Discuss Proposed Landing Field in Eastern N.C.

Posted February 26, 2007

— The U.S. Navy will hold discussions Monday about a proposed outlying landing field in Washington County.

The U.S. Navy said it wants to use 30,000 acres to create an area where jet fighter pilots can practice touch-and-go landings. Officials said as many as 70 landings could take place a day.

Officials said most of the 30,000 acres would serve as a buffer, but opponents are concerned about the noise and the impact on the environment. With a wildlife refuge located nearby, critics are concerned that birds flying into a jet's path could be sucked into the engine.

Gov. Mike Easley sent a letter to North Carolina's Congressional delegation, asking them to withhold funding for the project until the Navy considers another site.

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  • caelenesq Feb 26, 2007

    Actually, after furhter research, it's 80% of the landing field will be in Washington County.

  • caelenesq Feb 26, 2007

    I agree that this was a bad idea from the beginning.

    This isn't about one or two birds. This area is the winter home of over 100,000 waterfowl, including 25% of the country's eastern population of tundra swans.

    Also, the Navy plans to purchase this property outright. That means it will not be a part of the county's tax base because they wouldn't have to pay real estate taxes on it. Last figure I heard was around 40-45% of the county would be pulled out of the tax base. How can a county survive when almost half of it's revenue is gone?

  • El Doggo Feb 26, 2007

    Didn't Al Gore invent Figure 8 Island???

  • mikeNC Feb 26, 2007

    RWI, is a horrible idea, too many people live in that area. I agree Washington county is horrible also. I agree with some of the others regarding using current facilities rather than building a new facility. What is amazing is our highways and other developmental project have to meet environmental guidelines yet it seems the Navy does not. I am a former estimator for a highway contractor here in N.C. Part of my job was to get permits for sand pits for highway construction. I have seen projects stopped or moved simply because of a single small mullusks living in a stream or creek. I had a sand pit permit denied because there was a single fern and a small patch of water in the middle of a 200 acre pit. The Navy is pressing forward with plans to disrupt millions of birds and thousands of people yet development in parts of the western U.S. are blocked by a single little scretch owl. It is amazing what will happen when the government is involved.

  • gvmtcheese Feb 26, 2007

    rswood, you can take that a step further to say that the only reason why liberal congress shuts them down is because the military had nothing to barter with at the time. Or it could be the plan all along with kickbacks and such. To me they are all corrupt, we have no elected officials anymore who are true citizens of the people. They are all twisted with lobby money and greed.

  • Air Biscuit Feb 26, 2007

    They could also put it on Figure 8 island near Al Gore's house, but of course, he doesn't live there, either...besides, I suppose his multi-million dollar property did not have an adverse affect on the coastal environment, being that he is Al Gore...

  • NCSUSally Feb 26, 2007

    I think they should put it in Salisbury next to Elizabeth Dole's property. She's all for it. But then again- she really doesn't live here.

  • davidgnews Feb 26, 2007

    This has always been a STUPID idea.

  • bopeace1999 Feb 26, 2007

    It's not just *a* bird getting sucked into an engine, it's large flocks of large birds going through a canopy or worse.

    A pilot can dodge one - he can't dodge them all.

  • Air Biscuit Feb 26, 2007


    You pegged it! "Governor" Easley cares about only one North Carolinian....Mike Easley. Whatever will benefit Mike Easley is what Mike Easley will do...he doesn't care about the Navy, the ducks, or his state. He has made a mess of education with testing and the lottery, so why would anyone give credence to his ventures with the Navy?
    I do agree with everyone who posted about closings and such...seems like there are enough 8000 foot runways around to keep from having to build another base, only to have the liberal Congress close it as soon as it opens.