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"Castle Airport Turned Back Over to Community"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Castle Airport Turned Back Over to Community
By Katie Hammer
KFSN-TV Ch 30 (ABC), Fresno (CA)

It's been nearly 12 years since military aircraft last touched down at
Castle Airport. Since then, the Air Force has owned the base and worked to
clean up toxins left behind.

Lisa Geissinger, Air Force Spokeswoman, says, "There are many steps in order
to deed the property over to the community. Castle is the first Air Force
Base in the western United States, the first in the California region, to be
completely ready for transfer and to have the final deed signing." 

County Board Chairman Mike Nelson signed the final documents to transfer the
property into county possession. He says, "County staff have worked for
several years to make sure this land was returned back to the community in
good condition and that it would be prime for economic development." 

Since the base closed, there has been some economic development here, like
this lumber company that is building a brand new building here. County
leaders say now that this land is in their possession it will be much easier
to attract businesses. 

John Fowler, Airport Director, says "When you free up an industrial park the
size that we have, connected to a commercial industrial airport, the
potential is huge." 

The transfer is all part of the Air Force's transformation. Officials say
Castle is just the first of many on the west coast that will be handed back
to local governments. Geissinger says, "The military has been going through
a tremendous transformation over the last 10-15 years there is much more
that needs to be done as our world changes."

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