Oregon’s Air National Guard will hold a series of meetings this week to discuss plans to expand the air space it uses to train fighter pilots.
It’s the first step in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Oregon has about a half dozen military operating areas for the Air National Guard, where they can practice dog fights and other exercises.
The areas are along the Southwest coast; over the Fremont National Forest; west of Lake Owyhee State Park ; the Southeast corner of the state; and over Boardman.
But the guard wants to expand along the Northwest coast, over towns like Astoria and Lincoln City, as well as add a completely new area above the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
Master Sergeant, Nick Choy, says it will save time and about $7 million a year.
“If the airspace is smaller or it’s far away from our airbases, obviously we’re going to spend a lot more time flying to that airspace.”
The first meeting is at the Tillamook Air Museum Monday, Astoria on Tuesday, Condon High School on Wednesday, Harney County Center on Thursday and in Prineville Council Chambers on Friday.