The Port of Kennewick has begun an independent study to determine the future of Vista Field, and it may come to voters for final decisions.

The Port-City of Kennewick- have been losing about $10,000 a year over the better part of the last decade supporting the single-runway airport.   While there are businesses and developers who are fighting to keep it, others want it razed, and the property sold for other purposes.   Much of the reason for the new independent study is that negotiations between Mike Shannon and the Port have all but sunk.

Shannon, owner of Shannon Dental Health in Kennewick, and a long-time area businessman, was working with the Port to become the operator of the field, and would (under a contract) oversee the day to day operations, maintenance and promotion of the field.   But after months of discussion Port officials claim they are nowhere near a contract.   The Port Commission unanimously rejected Shannon’s proposal to over see the airfield, leading to the new study.

The study will reportedly determine if the field should be upgraded, possibly more heavily promoted and marketed, or sold, closed and/or demolished for other purposes.   Such decisions would probably be left to voters, because it is a publicly run facility through the City and Port of Kennewick.   A few years ago the Port was considering closing the facility, but area business leaders and others stepped up and urged that it be kept open.  The field began as an auxiliary landing area tied to the Pasco Naval Air Station in World War II.  It was then give into the City Of Kennewick, used as an airport.  The City considered closing it in the 1970′s but was kept open; the Port Of Kennewick took over it’s operation in 1991.  Take our poll…and let us know your opinion.