Local Politics

Congressmen Try to Halt Plans for Outlying Landing Field

Posted May 9, 2007 5:20 p.m. EDT
Updated May 9, 2007 11:21 p.m. EDT

— The military wants to build a practice landing field for naval jets in Washington and Beaufort counties, but there's concern over the potential impact on a nearby wildlife refuge.

Wednesday, lawmakers added wording to legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives in a bid to stop plans for the landing field. North Carolina Reps. David Price and G.K. Butterfield worked on the legislation.

Another measure urges the secretary of the Navy to consider other locations, including possibly using Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

Gov. Mike Easley and U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Elizabeth Dole have already raised questions about the Washington County location. Earlier this month, the state House drafted a joint resolution opposing the landing field.

The Navy spent 75 days listening to feedback from people across the state concerning the landing field. Over the next few months, that Navy will take those comments into consideration and begin drafting an environmental impact statement.

After the statement is released this fall, the Navy could announce its final decision on where to build the landing field within 30 days.