All of us are worried about losing Fairchild Air Force Base. We have been worried over the last thirty plus years. We want to do what we can to prevent the base closure. We focus on the flight path approaches. Over the last years, a large prison and a casino have been built under the approach paths. Now some would tell the Spokane Tribe not to build its casino in the West Plains area because it will be under the approach path, though much further removed than the prison and the Kalispell casino firm the approach path. (K-135 pilots use the Kalispell casino as a guide to when they make their turns to go to the landing approach.)
This talk and speculation are wasteful: for years, we have known of the real problem for Fairchild. It is the residential area in Airway Heights south of U.S. 2. This real problem could have been taken care of by Airway Heights — with the help of Spokane and Spokane County this small and mostly dilapidated area could be relocated.
Furthermore, a Port District could have been formed years ago to take care of the problem. It would have the power under state law to relocate the residential area.
All of us are worried about losing Fairchild Air Force Base. And, something can be done.