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Airport fire station closure could stop some flights

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Jun 30 2013 06:47:39 PM CDT
Airport fire station closure could stop some flights

If Chico's Fire Station 3 is closed due to budget issues, it would mean the end of commercial flights to the Chico Municipal Airport.

The Chico Fire Department may ask forĀ  the closure of the station, but Federal Aviation Administration rules won't allow commercial flights into the city if that happens.

People like Gay Talmey, of Cottonwood, says travelers drive as far away as Redding and farther for cheap flights and free parking.

A frequent flyer at the airport, Talmey says the airport's closure would hurt her pocketbook in multiple ways.

"It would be, economically, quite a big impact on the cost to me," said Talmey. "I'm a contract employee for the horse shows, and they would have to pay more, which then they would hire me less. So, I wouldn't like that. Absolutely, it would effect my work, no question it would."

A proposal to close Fire Station 3 was denied by the Chico City Council last year, and instead, Fire Station 5 near the entrance to Upper Bidwell Park was shuttered for a short time to cut costs.

And although Chico Fire Chief Jim Beery would be the one making the recommendation, the city council ultimately has the final decision on whether a station is closed.

The city also makes revenue off the traffic that comes in and out of the Chico Municipal Airport, so its closure would hurt city coffers too.