Nobody wants a landing field

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Somehow, we knew it would come to this: All five Virginia county governing bodies approached about being home to an airfield for Navy training sessions unanimously rejected the notion, many citing the dramatic increase in noise, a sweeping change in a way of life and general life alteration no one wanted to invite.

All five counties told the governor’s office to select a site somewhere else to building the practice field for jets. Anywhere, it seems, was better than in their region.

Whether that unilateral rejection keeps the Navy from actually building a landing strip in those counties remain to be seen.

Last week, the fifth county government made it quite clear that it wasn’t interested being home to the training site.

Ten sites were selected by the state and proposed to the Navy for the field that were contained or spread into five counties.

Southampton County was the first to send a proclamation to the governor, asking that the county be removed from consideration.

Southampton County’s vote on Aug. 1 got the ball rolling against the state’s plans. Then followed

Surry, Greensville, King and Queen and Sussex counties.

But this is where the jackpot takes a turn into uncharted waters. State

officials told local officials that if they rejected the proposal and did not want the airfield in their county, the state and Navy would not force the site against the wishes of localities. That stance, apparently, has been altered, if it ever existed in the first place.

Crouch, whose heretofore relative obscurity has been unceremoniously removed through this process, said, “All of this information will be part of what we send to the Navy. Now it’s in the Navy’s hands.”

We have learned that Crouch has mastered the skill of back-pedaling.

Whether the rejection of every proposed site by all five counties helps determine the location of an airstrip, it certainly should.