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Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 2:03 am

Well the Mexican border option was formally axed ..... No surprise.

My money is still on Camp Pendleton.

Here is the link:
North County
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 8:33 am

For those of you who might have missed it....

RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:10 am

I think March AFB and Imperial County should be eliminated. Those sites are just too far from San Diego. Especially March, that would almost be like San Diego not having an airport. I think they will have a difficult time getting any military bases for the airport. An expansion of the current airport is best in my opinion.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:21 am

There are rumors floating around the Navy that Miramar is going to be closed and the squadrons relocated to places like Lemoore NAS and Beaufort and Miramar being turned into a "civilian" airport. Just rumors, though...
Change is: one airline, six continents!
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:32 am

I like the group that supposedly has a perfect location that has none of the issues faced by other locations, but will not tell anyone where it is...They want $10 million or a percentage of the operating income from the airport, whichever is greater, in exchange for their location.

I think that what you will see, barring the Marines leaving Miramar, is an expansion of Lindbergh. There is a greater chance of the Marines leaving MCRD (most recruit training is now done at Pendelton anyway...) and then the airport using some of that land for runway expansion etc...New terminals will be built on the north side of the runway with cargo expansion on the old Ryan site (or the other way around...)

Pendelton is not a viable option and has not even been realistically broached. Because of the types of training conducted there it is even less compatable with Civil airline use than Miramar. (Artillery, parachute, low level ground attack by helicopters and fixed wing...)

The Marines continue to dump money into infrastructure at Miramar, making it much less likely that they are going to move out. (Then again the Navy built a really nice indoor pistol range at NTC, spending a few million on the project, even though NTC was already on the closure list...Sigh...)
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:44 am

I drive around Miramar every day at work, There is no more perfect site for an international airport. The existing runways are already longer than SAN's, there is nothing but brush for a half mile west, south, and east of the airport, and the location is central to San Diego's urban sprawl right between 2 major freeways. At Miramar now not much really happens in terms of aircraft movements other than F16's doing traffic patterns. They could do that at March or North Island. I love to watch 767's drop into SAN all day long, but San Diego has far outgrown that airport. One short runway, one ILS, and myriads of NIMBY's have put a bottleneck on San Diego that forces a lot of passengers to climb onto Saab 340 and fly to LAX to get out of the country. That's just plain ridiculous for a bustling metropolis such as this.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:50 am

Who the phuck wants to drive all the way up to Camp Pendleton? That's like an hour NOW, with an airport in da way... Is anyone thinking?

MIRAMAR is at the heart of the metropolitan region and its got two freeways on each side, but that is blocked by the dumbfudges who live in the La Jolla/UCSD region who have convinced the general pop that airliners are louder that military fighters cuz they have degrees and the rest of us dont... :-
The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:55 am

F-16's at Miramar? Sorry, bud, but those are F/A-18's. A majority of the jets at Miramar are -18's. The Marines have no -16's in their inventory, aside from the -16's used at Top Gun.

Lemoore NAS, CA
Change is: one airline, six continents!
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 9:59 am

The Marines still love the MCRD, and theres no more room for SAN to exoand. The developers own the land and wont give it up unfortunatley. Id love to see Kirimar converted into a civillian airport, itd allow room to grow, as well as more international flights!
Life is better when you surf.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 10:03 am

You're right, the Marines love their recruit depot. In fact, when a recruit is caught looking at an airplane, they are made an example of...

DI: "Recruit! Want to leave on that airplane, do ya!?"
Recruit: "Aye, sir!"
Change is: one airline, six continents!
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 10:45 am

As perfect of a site as Miramar may be, I think the NIMBYs by the ocean would stop at nothing to see it converted to a useless 'wildlife preserve.' Or they'd bitch about how some form of butterfly over at Torrey Pines would be in danger from aircraft.

How I wish I could live in the USA thirty years ago, back when it was actually possible to design, build and open a new airport/terminal in under twenty years... it's impossible to build ANYTHING in this country anymore.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:34 am

I don't understand how SAN can be anywhere close to capacity. Now that Summer is over most of the time I fly out of there the place is pretty quiet.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 12:34 pm

Lindbergh field is not close to capacity. There is plenty of room for improvement which would make it a much better airport.

Many seem to think that if we had a bigger airport we would get more flights and would really be a "first class" city. Other than an excercise in semantics I fail to see how the two go together.

Lindbergh has the advantage of being in the city center, close to the convention center and other tourist areas. It is easy to get to (tho the traffic flows can certainly be better...developing a direct freeway access and eliminating the use of Grape/Hawthorne/Laurel -- Harbor Drive would help this a great deal).

Potential realignment of the runway to give greater length (eliminating the displaced threshold) would be good and developing the north side for terminal space would be even better.

San Diego lost the opportunity to develop Brown Field into a major airport 20 years ago and have since allowed so much development in the flight path as to kill it off as an option. Short of purchasing a chunk of Mexico a joint use airport just won't work through the international political issues. Miramar is a huge question mark, but the Marines insist that they are staying and it will not be open to joint use.

Somewhere along the line we need to recognize that we are a destination city. No matter how large the airport we, as an area, will not be able to bring in the business to justify it. March is already being developed as a major cargo hub and has the freeway access, location, and infrastructure to support it as one.

Why would any of the majors develop a base at SAN, regardless of the airport location, (dumping money, personell etc..into a new facility), when they have already established facilities only a hundred miles or so to the north?

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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sat Oct 04, 2003 11:12 pm

I just looked over the sites selected as potential replacements for Lindbergh... and I'd like to know who the numb-nut is who said March ARB in Riverside would be a suitable replacement.... John Wayne would be closer than Riverside for crying out loud.

MCAS Miramar would be a convenient solution, but I think that F-18's and airliners would be incompatible. Although there are existing joint use civil-miliary airfields, the disparate approach speeds of the F-18's and airliners along with the large numbers of F-18's would seem to me to be unsafe. All of the Marine Corps' west coast F-18s are based there. Sending the F-18s to North Island would irritate all the folks in Coronado and Point Loma. And again I think there's too many F-18s to send them to North Island. You could send the F-18's to Yuma probably.

The airspace is already constrained to the south by Gillespie and Montgomery. There is probably airspace to north to put the traffic pattern for the F-18's, but there's a mountain up there.

Pendleton's got all the live firings going on. It's already hard enough to deconflict artillery and aircraft. I can't imagine trying to deconflict indirect fires with tacair/CAS and airliners. (I'd never get any sleep, I didn't get any sleep when I was just separating artillery and tacair/CAS.) Camp Pendleton is primarily a helicopter base. And as someone's already said, it just takes too long to drive out to Pendleton to fly out.

All of the helicopters at North Island already fly south to Imperial Beach near the Mexican border to do their flight proficiency/training.

I'm not familiar with all the development around Brown in and around it's flight paths, but I've flown around Brown a few times for pattern work. It could probably work, Straight out on 26L/R you end up over NOLF Imperial Beach (where the helicopters are doing their training.) It's just out of the way for the people leaving from North County.

They just need to do something about parking at Lindbergh. It's absolutely sucks, but I do like parking at the Laurel Travel center (the 6-story parking garage right under the flight path to 27, 1/4 mile from the threshold). I guess it's probably not the best idea to park on the roof. But I park on the roof there just to get one of the airliners to fly overhead, get a shot or too, right before I catch the shuttle to fly out of Lindbergh.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:11 am

I've been kind of interested in this as well. So far I've made up my own little elimination list for the proposed locations. I've only been to San Diego once so my memory is fuzzy, but I have flight simulator with USGS mesh scenery installed, so I've been exploring the landscape that way.

Ones I think will be eliminated:

--------------------Too far away, and the NIMBYS are already crying about environmental impacts in this area. Plus surrounding terrain could make approaches from the east tricky.

Warner Springs
--------------------Similar situation. Takes a while to get to these locations. Warner Springs has poor road access, so much more money would have to be spent improving roads and building a real freeway up there, plus it's completely surrounded by high terrain. Ramona is a little more do-able, but it's still got high terrain to the east, and limited area to expand considering the elevation drop around the existing airport. It'd be too tricky do to, too expensive to build, and wouldn't be flexible for future growth.

---------------------Speaks for itself. Too many problems and risks involved in trying to construct a trans border airport. The INS would have a fit I imagine.

National City Waterfront
--------------------- Building here would require the destruction of many piers, the filling in of much of San Diego bay, lots of environmental and economic impacts, the airport would have absolutely no room to expand either, would be constrained by noise restrictions, and essentially would find itself in a worse position than Lindbergh currently finds itself in. Can you imagine the uproar around filling in much of SD bay? I bet more than just NIMBY's would protest that one. It won't happen.

Desert Location
---------------------Has anyone seen how far away this location is? It's over just south of the Salton Sea, almost as far away as March ARB, and further away than Warner Springs. No noise issues or expansion issues, but it's in the middle of nowhere, and no one wants to drive an hour and 10 minutes to the airport.

Locations that might work (by some stretch of the imagination):

Miramar MCAS
North Island NAS
Otay Mesa
East Miramar
South Bay
Silver Strand
Ocean Beach

---------------------Listed somewhat in order of probability and feasibility. Miramar is in a perfect location, with existing infrastructure that only needs to be expanded and improved upon, rather than building a new airport entirely from scratch. The major hangup here is the willingness of the Marines to vacate the land or use it jointly with airliners. Also might have lighter noise restrictions and environmental impacts which should make a few nimbys happy, but you know the coastal folks to the west will complain about jets. They always do. They start complaining before jet service even starts.

North Island comes next. It's a compromise, really. If the Marines won't leave Miramar, then the next best option is to go for North Island. The problem is that the existing runways cross each other, which puts limits on amount of takeoff and landing slots at any one time, but this could be partially solved by connecting the airport via an underground transit system, to the existing Lindbergh, and using the two airports jointly together as one. You have the benefit of existing infrastructure at North Island, but the drawback of environmental impacts (to sea life, you know that's what they'll complain about  Insane), and of course the noise restrictions. Noise as North Island will be just as restricted as that at Lindbergh, and jets probably won't be able to approach from or take off towards the East at all, due to downtown SD. You're limited to a coastal approach, or a northeast approach. But it could be done. You also face the reality that once the airport is completed, you can only expand within the property, but there's no room for expansion of land area.

Otay Mesa: Fairly good location, right between Brown Field and the Mexican border. A bit of room to expand and the terrain is relatively flat. Otay Mesa area itself has a bit less population, fewer Nimbys, though just to the west you have the populated coast, and Imperial Beach which could present an approach problem. Terrain to the East is reasonably far away to make for a doable approach. Your biggest problem is that you need to build the roads and infrastructure entirely from scratch. You need to connect the airport to the 5 or the 805, and make the roads efficient enough to carry a high degree of passengers to and from the airport over the years. Fortunately you have a bit of land to expand upon should expansion be needed, though the amount of available land keeps shrinking.

East Miramar comes after this because it's right next to the Miramar station. Major drawback: You have to move earth to build the airport (terrain obstacles), and you have to start almost entirely from scratch, though fortunately the freeways are right there. But the location is still quite good, but you need the military to give up the land.

South Bay: This plan calls for the filling in of a small amount of the south portion of SD bay, which the residents would take issue with, BUT, it isn't as dramatic as the National City plan. Room to expand is limited, noise abatement will become an increasing issue as the population expands in the south of Sand Diego. This would be another compromise.

Silver Strand: This design calls for the construction of a half-and-half airport...half on land, half floating on water. It would be a hugely expensive project, the Nimby's would cry, though there would be less noise restrictions than at North Island. But then you have the problem in that you cut off North Island itself. The solution would be to make the freeway go underground and pass right through the middle of the airport, kind of like what you see in areas around SEA. The freeway would resurface again out of a tunnel and continue south as it currently does. There would be environmental impacts, and the "floating" side of the airport would be exposed directly to the currents and waves of the pacific ocean. Maintenance costs would be a nightmare. And you face the risk of the airport settling and sinking, like Osaka's.

Ocean Beach: Perhaps the least probable of all the "do-able" designs, this one calls for an airport that is almost entirely floating on the ocean. The airport would be located on the water, directly west from the current Lindberg field. This would also call for the complete closure of Lindbergh. You'd have to expand road access intended for Lindbergh, over to the beach, just barely south of Mission Bay. A portion of Mission Bay would be filled in as well, something that surely will not go down well. Residents in the area would take issue with the traffic and the jets, there would be no expansion options, and you have two major colleges nearby with students who may or may not welcome the presence of an international airport on the beachfront. Lots of environmental impacts and you have Sea World to consider...though, Sea World's location very close to Lindbergh's coastal approach doesn't seem to e a problem today aside from noise restrictions. And those would exist here, unless they built a runway parallel to the coast, in which cast noise restrictions may not exist.

That's my take on the whole thing.  Smile Personally, I'm laying my money on either Miramar, Otay Mesa, or North Island/Lindbergh. The floating airports are a real possibility but it'll be tough to sell them to the public.

[Edited 2003-10-04 17:25:32]
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sun Oct 05, 2003 12:33 am

I think they will build it by MiraMar.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sun Oct 05, 2003 3:09 am

No offense here, but those of you who advocate Otay Mesa have not been out there recently....Homes have been built all along the flight path out of Brown Field (which occupies the area that would be used for a larger airport). This has been done in the past 5 years and continues hot and heavy today. Amazingly enough homes have been built within a couple of hundred yards of the Coors Ampetheatre, which now hosts most of SD's concerts. I can't imagine the noise level these people put up with. (I am about 6 miles straight line distance from it and I could hear the Ozfest a few months ago!!!!!) Again, Brown would have been a great choice 20 years ago. (BTW there is hwy 905 which connects the 5 and 805 and leads up onto Otay Mesa. It was built when the intent was to put the airport there...)

North Island will not work as the Navy is not going to allow it as a joint use field or give it up. They have just revdeveloped the carrier pier to accomodate up to 3 nuclear carriers, Reagan is due to be based there next year. Lose NI and the Navy has to move the carriers to another port. Move the carriers we lose big money. Very doubtful scenario.

I mentioned this in another thread but I think the best solution is what I discussed above, fixing up the terminals, expanding parking with a multi level garage, improving access (which is only a serious problem at peak holiday periods.) Since we are not going to get more long haul flights (BA is pulling out of the market as of Oct 25th...not enough business), a high speed direct rail link to LAX would help a great deal. Have baggage check in etc handled by the rail folks, an hour train ride...

But since we have a city and county who have studied this issue over and over ever since Lindbergh was opened and have yet to make any decision...I doubt and serious change will be made in the near future. (next 20 years.)
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sun Oct 05, 2003 1:03 pm

No offense taken, we're just putting out our opinions. I don't know much about south San Diego, although I do know that after 2pm I-5 is a parking lot from the Coronado Bay bridge to the Mexican border. so another means of transportation will be needed to get people to an airport near the Mexican border.

I do agree with the expansion of Lindbergh. and I do agree with getting direct interstate access to Lindbergh.

North Island wouldn't work. Traffic across the bridge is already bad enough to get to North Island. Leaving in the afternoon if you're not outbound before 1pm or after 5pm, you're stuck in a 5mph traffic jam on 3d Av from the base to the bridge. It's bad enough without the carriers inport but when the carriers are inport it's worse.

I'm pretty sure that the airport meetings on the issue have just been filled with reasons why locations won't work rather than how to make things work...
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
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RE: Update On New San Diego Airport Site Selection

Sun Oct 05, 2003 2:04 pm

Sadly traffic is now a major issue in San Diego, no matter where the airport is. Traffic on the 15 and 805 in the area of Miramar is a mess, with the 15 corridor being the most heavily travelled in the county.

Many of the locations proposed could be made to work, but it is going to cause lots of heartburn with the communities impacted and cost one heck of alot of money, which will be the biggest sticking point.

The local government has ignored the airport issue for so long, studying it and then turning away for so long that it has now become a monster that won't be tamed.

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