Preserving the Runway Option

The Great Falls Tribune reports that supporters of Malmstrom AFB, Mont., are “cautiously optimistic” that a Nov. 4 bond measure will pass, keeping open the option to restore Malmstrom’s runway to active service. There is a proposal to develop a housing project that would encroach upon the flight path and would probably block any chance at reviving aircraft operations at the base. Although, the current state of the economy is a concern, former State Sen. Jeff Mangan (D) told the newspaper, “We’re asking for a relatively small amount, less than $10 a year to the owner of a $100,000 home, when they consider the long-term benefits to the community of keeping Malmstrom strong.” His co-chairman on the Save the Runway political action committee, former State Rep. Joe McKenney (R), said, “This community needs to be forward thinking when it comes to protecting Malmstrom’s assets, because the base represents one-third of our local economy.”