The three local airstrips, Cabaniss, Waldron and Goliad are essential for pilot training, according to Capt. Jeremy Rifas of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Corpus Christi is working to protect Cabaniss Field from what is considered an incompatible land development.
The airfield is used by the Navy as part of its pilot training program. The city will now control some 52 acres.
“When you go to and from NAS Corpus Christi, the takeoff and landing part delays the standing landing pattern, so you can’t come back here to do all the landing work you need to do,” said Captain Jeremy Rifas, who is the deputy commander of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi.
Rifas said the three local airstrips, Cabaniss, Waldron and Goliad are important for pilot training. Corpus Christi City Council took action this week to protect Cabaniss Field from incompatible land development so naval operations can continue safely.
“What we’re doing is establishing what’s called a clear zone. So that protects the neighbors there and just the space at the end of the runways,” District 2 council member Greg Smith said. .
The Restricted Use Easement will secure a 52+ acre site not owned or controlled by the Navy. The city would be responsible for enforcing the restrictions. Rifas adds that the measures taken this week at Cabaniss Field are intended to protect citizens.
“We need the land to keep people out of harm’s way. They don’t want these businesses or other entities in that area to be seen as the crucial part of the theft,” he said.
Smith says the city knows how important the base is to the region and the state.
“They’re always looking for reasons to shut down military installations because they’re expensive. So the more this community does, the more likely we won’t be down in a future BRAC.” (Realignment and closure of the base)
According to the Texas Military Readiness Commission, Naval Air Station Corpus Christi and Corpus Christi Army Depot have an annual impact of $4.6 billion on the Texas economy.
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