Navy does right by Isle of Wight

Published 9:34 am Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Navy has done right by Isle of Wight County after recognizing that county officials should’ve been included in early discussions about using Franklin Municipal Airport for “touch-and-go” training for turboprop aircraft stationed in Norfolk.

By recognizing the oversight, the Navy now has unanimous support by the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors to continue talks regarding the possible use of the airport. That support came in the form of a vote during Thursday night’s Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

In October, the Navy announced its intention to negotiate for the use of the Franklin airport for touch-and-go exercises for E-2 and C-2 turboprop aircraft. When the Navy deeded the airport to Franklin in the 1940s, it retained the right to come back and use it.

Although the airport is owned by the City of Franklin, geographically it lies within Isle of Wight County, where some residents are opposed to the training. Residents were pressuring the Board of Supervisors to do something, but since the board was not involved with discussions, it was difficult to do so.

The Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors in November voted unanimously to oppose the use of the airport for the training exercises. Newport District Supervisor Stan Clark’s vote was to get the Navy’s attention so it would begin talks with the county.

It worked.

Now let’s hope everyone can be on the same page and make a decision that’s best for all.