The so-called “stealth” amendment passed Congress last month, granting the City of Rialto, Calif., special dispensation to sell its municipally owned airport. That amendment was attached during conference negotiations over the massive highway funding bill. According to AOPA, city officials have been trying for the past four years to close the Rialto Municipal Airport in favor of more profitable development of the land adjacent to the Interstate 210 extension now under construction. The association maintains that well financed developers have been maneuvering to make it possible for the city to sell the airport.
On the positive side, 10 other GA airports are located within 20 nm of Rialto, including the former Norton AFB, which became San Bernardino International (SBD) and offers a 10,000-foot runway and plenty of expansion room. SBD is 8.5 nm from Rialto Municipal Airport.
AOPA President Phil Boyer said, “We hate to lose an airport, and we’ll continue to do everything within our power to keep GA airports open and vibrant. If there’s any consolation, it’s that it literally took an act of Congress to kill this one.