The Port of Benton will announce this week the closing the Prosser Airport campground on July 9. They will be telling the Prosser community they are killing the soul of the Prosser Airport, and the execution will start with felling of the old shade trees.
This camping area has been a defining feature of the airport for generations and has added to the charm of the airport and the Prosser community. It has drawn visitors eager to fly in and tour the community, has served as a temporary shelter area for pilots working on critical agricultural missions (i.e., cherry drying), and as an aviation event venue that draws aviators from around the region.
This historic area is the soul of the airport, and the new Director of Airports, Joe Walker, wants to kill it. His claim that it is to make way for additional hang[a]r sites is disingenuous at best. There are no hangar sites specified for that area in the airport master plan. The plan was never to eliminate the camping area, only to relocate it if necessary for taxiway realignment. Mr. Walker has instead decided to kill it without soliciting any input from the airport resident and itinerant users, and apparently from the general Prosser community. And so, the campground will be killed (executed) on July 9.
A wake will be held at the deceased Prosser Airport Campground on Saturday, July 10 from 9am-noon, to celebrate the benefits we enjoyed from it over the years. Aviators, aviation enthusiasts, friends of the airport, and anyone else not associated with the Port of Benton management team, are welcome to attend.
WestWind Aviation Services, in conjunction with the EAA will be sponsoring a brunch. Everyone is welcome to contribute to this service. Final details are pending.
RJ Blahut, WestWind Aviation Services