Air Force Seeking Spokane's Input on Future Home of Tankers

By Steve Jackson

The Air Force is holding an open house Tuesday evening in Spokane to get public input on the possibility of Fairchild being selected as the first base to take the next generation refueling tanker plane.
The Air Force says Fairchild is among four bases being examined as the site for the new Boeing KC-46A tanker in 2017. The new plane will replace the aging KC135 tankers , the oldest of which are over five decades old.

Dale Clark, Chief of the Air Force National Environmental Policy Center says the meeting will provide an opportunity for public Input
Clark: “The reason were there is to get feedback about local issues related to the Environmental impact analysis we’ll be doing for this document.”

Rich Hadley of Greater Spokane Incorporated says he believes Fairchild is in an excellent position to be the Air Force's first choice
Hadley: “First of all we are the largest tier one tanker base west of the Mississippi, that is a strategic location, were are less than hundred miles from fifteen refueling routes, and the defense department is pivoting to Asia pacific, China, Korea, and we have a new runway at about 14,000 feet.”

A draft Environmental Impact statement will be released this fall, and following that another round of public input.

The meeting will run from five to eight PM Tuesday at the Lincoln Center, 1316, North Lincoln in Spokane.
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