In response to Robert Wilbur’s March 9 letter regarding Coupeville’s Outlying Field, Mr. Wilbur should know that, according to Navy Rear Adm. Rich, it would cost about $1 billion to replace the OLF.
I appreciate Mr. Wilbur’s civil tone and research. However as the U.S. Navy is being sequestered, it is cost prohibitive to appease the several hundred complaining homeowners.
In fact, USN Capt. Johnston stated in a Feb. 22 Whidbey News-Times article, “There’s no money to develop additional training airspaces or runways … so it’s up to us to be the best stewards of what we have. That means using Coupeville and getting along with Coupeville folks the best we can.”
I would also argue that Coupeville folks need to do their patriotic duty and accept that OLF Coupeville has served America since September 1943, according a 2005 AICUZ report.
According to that report, “NAS Whidbey Island directly and indirectly accounts for nearly 17,500 jobs in Island County and over 20,100 statewide. “
Those who are against OLF Coupeville need to consider endangering a major part of NAS Whidbey Island is, therefore, endangering Island County’s economic health.
Having recruited other aviation buffs to watch Coupeville flight operations with me, I hope we can keep OLF Coupeville operational.
Joe A. Kunzler