Some 40 years past, I, along with many La Plata County residents, attempted to convince the county commission and a sirport commission that expanding the local airport was a folly. Many residents of San Juan County, N.M., rejoiced at becoming a “jet” airport and possibly the land’s only regional airport. (Check the Herald’s morgue for about 1973-74).
We all failed in our requests and the expansion went forward with the excuse of keeping Frontier Airlines in Durango. They went belly up. They fired/laid-off employees and we still poured enough cement on McCaw Mesa to become the first backup airfield for Kirtland Air Force Base. Las Cruces, N.M., sued the Bush/Cheney campaign after the C-135 flying them on their campaigns damaged that airport’s runway, but La Plata County Airport sustained no damage when they landed here – or did I miss the lawsuit? La Plata County owns close to 500 acres on McCaw Mesa, home of golden and bald eagles – county employees have knocked down several trees they rest in. If I did that, I’d be fined $100,000 and spend 20 years in Leavenworth, Kan. Now, a “shave-tail” employee wants 100 acres more? To keep an airline that already has left twice? How fiscally prudent!