I couldn't agree more!!! What I feel is that the only place that is open enough for SAN to build a new airport is to the north, between the mountains. You know where the Wild Animal Park is, right? Come back south from there and there's a nice little valley there, with orange trees all over and an Ostrich farm in the middle. Beautiful area! But, this might be a likely area for SAN to build a new airport. Eventually, city officials are going to have to go against the public's wishes and bulldoze some wilderness.
Wait, I take that back. There's too much politics involved in a situation like this. So, will a new airport be built? NOOOOOOO!!! Why? Because the darn city officials will want to get re-elected, right? Don't want to piss anybody off, right? So, if a new airport has to potential to piss somebody off, it'll never get built!
So, I geuss we need to quit wishing for a new airport, and start hoping an old one gets restored, or expanded. One potential airport would be Gillespie Field, north of El Cajon. I haven't seen this area in real life, so I'm not sure on how open the land is around Gillespie, but according to my map, there's only a few roads around it, which says to me that it's sparse residential. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Figures for Gillespie-
9L/27R- 5,341 ft, ILS ISEE rwy 27R
17/35- 4,147 ft
9R/27L- 2,737 ft
Gillespie at current could support an aircraft no larger than a 767-200. If expanded by just 3,000 ft, Gillespie could support a Boeing 747-400!
Another alternative would be Montgomery Field. I passed by this field on my trip to San Diego, and believe me, I can't imagine a 747 there, but if the mint runway, 10L/28R is expanded by 4,000 ft, it could support a 747. But the tarmac also has to be expanded. Plus, residential areas surround Montgomery, so chances of this airport being expanded are nill.
Brown Field is an excellent contender. The main runway, 8L/26R, is 7,999 ft long. The only problem is that a large hill is in the way of the takeoff path to the East, so any departures would have to take off to the west, and arrivals would have to land heading east.
Protests have already kept Brown from expanding, so again opportunity is slim for Brown. Currently it can support a 747-sized aircraft.
That pretty much does it for San Deigo's alternates. Some airports to the north include Oceanside and Carlsbad Municipal airports, but these airports are barely large enough to hold a King Air, so it's not likely their runways will be expanded by 5,000 ft each.
Further north in Santa Ana, we have El Toro. Now THIS has potential. It's just outside Santa Ana, with room to grow. Two runways are 10,000 ft long, two are 8,000 ft long, and one is 3,900 ft long. this airport could hold an A3XX-sized aircraft!!
I hope El Toro doesn't become a housing developemnt, it is southern California's best hope for a new international airport!
Nest, there's John Wayne, already at full cpacaity, with a main runway length of 5,700 ft. This airport won't grow, it's surrounded by housing.
An area close to Los Angeles that I like is Long Beach, Daughtery Field. One runway is 10,000 feet long, one is 6,192 ft, one is 5,420 ft, another is 4,470 ft, and finally one is 4,267 ft. All runways are at maximum length, there's no room for growth. Still, when LAX is full, Long Beach will be most likely to expand in terms of air service.
Van Nuys airport to the north is further away than LAX, but has good potential. Runways are 8,001 ft and 4,000 ft, so thsi airport could support a 747. Not to mention there's enough ramp space too.
Burbank is BLAH! Run-down, very little ramp space. The only good feaure is that runways are 6,886 ft and 6,032 ft long, well enough for a 767-400.
Finally, Ontario Int'l is a good spot. runways are 12,200ft and 10,200 ft long.
there's AMPLE ramp space, and so much airport-owned land around the terminals, the airport could be expanded to LAX size!! The only problem is that it's 43 miles from downtown L.A., and nobody wants to drive 43 miles to catch a flight if they live two miles from LAX.
For me, the most potential for Los Angeles area lies in Long Beach and El Toro airports.
For San Diego, Gillespie Field is the best bet, unless Brown's luck changes.