Dole, Easley Spar Over Landing Field Site Selection

Republican Senator Elizabeth Dole says in response to criticism from Democratic Governor Mike Easley that she met with local residents to discuss the Navy's proposal to build a practice landing field.

Dole said she wouldn't back a location for the Navy jet landing field without local support as she disputed Easley's remarks that she only represented interests of the state and Navy.

Both Dole and Easley have said they opposed any site if it didn't bring an economic benefit to the area.

The 8,000-foot runway would allow F/A-18 Super Hornet pilots to practice night landings on aircraft carriers. Navy officials say the strip is needed to reduce use of an existing strip in Virginia now surrounded by residential areas.

Dole discussed the issue during a conference call with reporters Thursday, the day after a back-and-forth exchange with the governor.