|came more cars, and the city's streets
have been hard-pressed to handle the load.
But there are steps that we can take to ease this
One of those steps is to move forward with the
extension of Kolb Road, across part of Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, to
give the city a much-sought north-south traffic route. This artery should
greatly relieve several congested streets -- notably, East 29th and the
Veterans Memorial interchange (Palo Verde Overpass), to name two.
The Kolb Road extension is an important project,
and has required the cooperation of two levels of local government, the
Pentagon, the command structrure at Davis-Monthan AFB, and money from the
I plan to help Tucson see this project to completion.
. . . And In The Air
When America moved into the 1950s, Americans moved
from trains to airplanes and today, air travel remains a primary means
of long-distance transport for millions of our citizens.
Just as the Southern Arizona climate has been
a lure to people, it was an early lure for aviators. The weather and climate
were, and are, ideally suited for aviation. Charles Lindbergh was among
the early flyers who landed in Tucson. And when World War II came, Southern
Arizona's landscape was dotted with training bases that turned out thousands
of combat air crews.
Aviation's attraction to Southern Arizona has
In the early years, there was little attention
paid aviators or their airplanes. The airfields were distant from the city,
the aircraft novel but few, and the countryside sparsely settled.
But today, the city has grown up next to the airport
and to Davis-Monthan. The same population growth that has passed our primary
means of ground trans-
|portation has put more private aircraft
into the skies. As Tucson grew, commercial air traffic increased. And while
Davis-Monthan has fewer aircraft based there than in years past, it still
services an increasing transient military traffic, and training flights
from Luke and Williams Air Force Bases near Phoenix fly regularly over
In 1978, however, the tragic crash of an Air Force
A7 jet near the University of Arizona campus, resulting in the deaths of
two persons, brought our heightened air traffic into sharp, new focus.
Since 1978, a lot has happened.
First, the Arizona Air National Guard and Davis-Monthan
Air Force Base both have agreed to move a substantial part of their traffic
to Marana Air Park. Second, there are plans to move some small private
aircraft operations from Tucson International Airport to Ryan Field, and
third, there is an effort to ease the mix of private, military and commercial
traffic to TIA, to better accommodate each of those interests.
A new weather warning radar will be installed
at Tucson International Airport, and the Federal Aviation Administration
is going ahead with installation of an Instrument Landing System at Ryan
Field that will greatly increase that strip's capabilities.
The House of Representatives has tentatively okayed
expansion of the Marana field, and Pinal County authorities and the Air
Force are at work on a lease. The $12 million to $15 million needed for
that work should be in the 1982 military budget. In the meantime, the Air
Force will spend up to $500,000 for temporary facilities. Continued use
of Marana will allow the Air Force and the Air Guard to divert much of
their training activity away from population centers.
In short, the future of aviation in Southern Arizona
has never looked better -- for all of us. I'm proud to have been able to