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Airport Authority Moves Forward With Expansion Plan

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

(Photo: Airport Authority Board discusses the Master Plan. Alison St John/KPBS )

The San Diego County Airport Authority is moving forward with a Master Plan to meet expansion needs for Lindbergh Field. But, as KPBS reporter Alison St. John tells us, not everyone likes the plan.

About 30 million people a year will drive to Lindbergh Field for flights by 2030, according to projections.

The Airport's environmental study concludes traffic wont be a significant problem after extra lanes and stripping are added to Harbor Drive and surrounding roads.

San Diego’s business community supports the Master Plan.

Memora Mercer of the Hotel Motel Association  says it's essential for San Diego’s growing economy.

Mercer : Especially with the additional room inventory that's going to be coming on line in the next several years.

But city councilman Kevin Faulconer, who represents downtown, is one of those against the multi-story parking garage planned for Harbor Drive.

Faulconer : I believe a massive parking structure on Harbor Drive will lead to more traffic and gridlock ultimately.

The Authority went ahead and approved the report, but left the door open for more debate over the parking structure.

Some still believe the airport will have to move eventually. Others believe moving terminals closer to Interstate 5 and public transit will solve the expansion problems.

Alison St John, KPBS News.

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