Port officials agree to stop talking about airport acquisition

Port of South Whidbey commissioners voted 2-1 to discontinue discussions on the acquisition of Whidbey Airpark in Langley Wednesday.

Port Commissioner Geoff Tapert was the lone dissenter.

Port Commissioner Rolf Seitle said the idea of an airport run by the port was tempting, but there are too many obstacles, including the uncertainties of government funding.

"There is no guarantee that, after spending a lot of money, the FAA would reimburse us," Seitle said. "One requirement would be to pay for and operate an airport in perpetuity and we would need public support in the form of taxpayer dollars to do that."

Other concerns included the $7 million — and two-year commitment — the county estimates it would cost to build a new road from Highway 525 to the airpark. The current road is privately owned.

Commissioners also said they needed to focus efforts on the Langley marina.

"The marina has the potential to pay its own way, and then some," Seitle said.

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