Monday, December 15, 2008

Exporting Pilots

I remember listening to a presentation on the economics of residential real estate when the point was made that a community needed to export something in order to be viable. If a community only served it's own needs, it wouldn't survive in the long run.

Here in Arizona we used to depend on the five C's - climate (tourism), copper, cotton, citrus and cattle. Now it's a bit different. Climate is still big, copper is important again, and other things have replaced agriculture.

Goodyear, a west valley community, hosts Luke AFB which is the main training facility for F16 pilots. Since the F35 will replace the F16, the community is working on securing their future exports.

Peoria Mayor Bob Barrett and Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard are urging Air Force leaders to make Luke Air Force Base the future home of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The two met with Air Force Secretary Michael Donley; Gen. Norton Schwartz, the service's chief of staff; and other officials last week at the Pentagon to discuss the future of the West Valley base...

The loss of Luke would have a tremendous impact on the West Valley. Barrett argued that its prosperity is tied to the base.

"This is a $2-billion-a-year economic engine that is essentially recession-proof," he said. "We need to continue to join forces and do everything we can to secure the West Valley's financial future - that's essentially what we are talking about. This supersedes all other issues in the West Valley."

 

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