Carlos Gimenez: Homestead Air Reserve Base Needs to Remain Just for Military Planes

This week, U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., showcased his proposal to “extend the prohibition on the joint use of Homestead Air Reserve Base by the Air Force and civil aircraft.”

Gimenez introduced the “ Preserving Options for Everglades Restoration and National Defense in the Straits of Florida Act” at the end of last week.

Noting that “the prohibition was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)” from last year, Gimenez’s office offered some of the reasons behind why the congressman introduced the bill.

“For years, Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) has been a central focus of special interests that wish to secure commercial passenger and cargo operations to expand the urban development boundary in southern Miami-Dade County. Those proposals have the potential to impact military readiness and diminish efforts to conserve and restore critical habitat near HARB and Biscayne Bay,” Gimenez’s office noted. “The Preserving Options for Everglades Restoration and National Defense in the Straits of Florida Act guarantees the protection of our South Dade ecosystem and ensures that Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) will continue to operate for its original intended purpose.”

“Preserving the Homestead Air Reserve Base (HARB) for its original intent and purpose is critical to protecting our national security interests,” Gimenez said. “Allowing aircraft not affiliated with our military or armed services to utilize an air reserve facility would only compromise our country’s national security. Extending the prohibiting the joint use of the Homestead Air Reserve Base ensures the protection of our strategic interests and protects the precious South Florida ecosystem caught in between Biscayne National Park and Everglades National Park.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Armed Services Committee. So far, there have been no co-sponsors in the House and no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

Kevin Derby
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