Open Letter to Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors

December 19, 2005
Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors
701 Ocean Street
Room 500
Santa Cruz CA 95060-4069

Attn: Supervisor Ellen Pirie
Re: Watsonville Municipal Airport
Dear Board of Supervisors:

As a private pilot who frequently uses Watsonville airport I write to urge you to keep the airport safety zones clear and not annex any County land to the City of Watsonville, which would then develop it, always a precursor to removing the airport in its entirety. As can be seen by the recent accident at Midway in Chicago, a safety zone surrounding the runways is absolutely essential to protect the public. Furthermore, I believe that the airport lands should be used for airport-related purposes such as building hangars, maintenance shops and support facilities such as pilot training companies and of course, pilot-friendly restaurants.

Please continue your good work in maintaining responsible land use planning for this region. Watsonville is an important community asset, as shown in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake when relief supplies were flown in by so many private volunteers because roads were impassable. The airport forms a base for firefighting and rescue. Since the airport at Santa Cruz was eliminated (because of development around it), WVI has effectively taken its place as the closest airport to Santa Cruz. WVI has a wonderful mix of experimental, classic and old military airplanes which is a joy to show to youngsters who come in to Zuniga’s and watch the planes land and take off. There is no airport quite like Watsonville. Please do everything you can to protect its continued operations.

Thank you for your interest and attention to this.


Carol L. Healey

N4792W (based at OAK)


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