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San Diego Airport Seeking Public Opinion On Long-Term Plan

Evening Edition

The largest renovation project in Lindbergh Field's 81-year history is complete. Now it's time to consider the long-term plan for San Diego's International airport. Replacing terminal one and improving the traffic and parking situation. Public can give input at or at a public meeting on June 12, 2014.

After a makeover of Terminal 2 that finished late last year, the San Diego Airport Authority now is considering the long-term plan for the San Diego International Airport. At a media briefing Friday, the Airport Authority said that planning is underway on the next phase of the master plan.

The Airport Development Plan includes improving parking and replacing Terminal 1.

“It was really built and designed at a time when we really didn’t have the TSA requirements for security that we do today, and some of the aircraft maneuvering demands that we have,” said the Airport Authority’s Keith Wilschetz.

The Airport Authority presented three proposed plans to improve access to the airport and accommodate more parking demand through 2035, when the airport is expected to have 28 million passengers a year. The most significant change would remove traffic from Harbor Drive.

“What this would do in the Airport Development Plan is really remove all the traffic off Harbor Drive, at least between Laurel and the westside of the airport, and that’s something that’s very, very important to us,” Wilschetz said.

The Airport Authority already has started rerouting airport deliveries and other commercial traffic off Harbor Drive. An environmental review will take a couple of years, and public feedback is being sought over the next few months, starting with an Airport Development Plan open house next week. The Airport Authority estimates the entire planning and environmental review process will be complete in 2016.

“We want to know what people think about the airport and specifically how they would like Terminal 1 to be rebuilt,” Wilschetz said.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 7, 2014 at 7:54 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Why is the 800 lb gorilla in the room always ignored?

We need more runway space and that's impossible at this location.

When will this airport reach capacity and why is so much tax payer money being thrown at this issue??

I really wish the media would quit being a lapdog for airport authority propaganda and ask some if these questions.

What is the cost benefit of spending billions on an airport that will likely need to be moved in the coming years?

The media talks about SAN's limitations when talking about the bridge from SD to the Tijuana airport, but never in these Linbergh field expansion stories.

Why is that ?????

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | June 7, 2014 at 11:31 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

According to the 1998 Jewish World Review a man whose initials were C, A, L (Chas. A. Levine) flew the Atlantic in 1927: "He was an irascible, pompous, difficult man to work for and he lost his advantage by engaging in trivial arguments on how to equip his plane and who should fly it."

FDR, appalled by the Lone Eagle's anti-semitism, refused to restore his colonelcy when Lindbergh wanted it back. Nevertheless, Lindbergh went on to fly 50 combat missions in the South Pacific during World War II. MacArthur was impressed -- and Eisenhower (when President) restored the Lone Eagle's colonelcy. And promoted him Brigadier General.

The premise of Agatha Christi's Murder on the Orient Express is that just the one crime of the kidnapping and murder of the first born of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles A. Lindbergh qualifies to exonerate a most unusual extralegal proceeding.

It may be argued that FDR's hatred for the first man to take off from New York City and land in Paris on the same day originated because FDR wanted to take on Hitler before Hirohito (even after Pearl Harbor) and Charles A. Lindbergh just might have stood in his way.

My father was a B-17 pilot who crossed the channel repeatedly to bomb Germans good / bad / indifferent. In recent memory, members of the Lincoln Brigade who hadn't died yet, sang "May the Circle Be Unbroken" at memorial services for those who had; I asked one of the survivors about the numbers tattooed on her wrist. "Is that what I think it is?" "Yep, Auschwitz." "Aren't you mad at the Germans for what they did to you?"

"No, I had it coming. You see, in street fighting before the war, I killed many of those brownshirt bastards!"

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Avatar for user 'Carries'

Carries | June 7, 2014 at 3:08 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Dear Airport Authority
I would like to see a trolley station at the remodeled airport. And also, a parking lot for shared cars like Car 2 Go.

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Avatar for user 'iridium'

iridium | June 7, 2014 at 5:45 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

@Peking_Duck_SD: The reason why the media doesn't ask the Airport Authority about investing in an airport that is going to move is that nobody believes that the airport is going to move. Ask the Airport Authority about capacity limits at SAN, and you'll get a polite version of 'told ya so!' Every civilian airport in San Diego is single runway. We need a brand new airport with multiple runways. Except that the only feasible place to put such an airport is MCAS Miramar, and 8 years ago, when the Authority asked voters to allow it to start talking to the Navy about sharing the base, over 60% said no. In so doing, the voter resounding said that they don't want a new airport, to the degree that it is unlikely that any plan for a new airport will ever get approved (over 1 in 5 voters that voted no would have to flip their votes, and the vote to start discussions was an easy one compared to the future votes that would be needed to actually fund and build the airport).

The result is an extensive amount of analysis of how to divert and expand capacity at our existing airports. KPBS doesn't need to ask when the airport will reach capacity, because San Diego's 2050 Regional Transportation Plan already provides the answer: year 2030 at the latest (page 6-48). After that point, SAN will not meet demand, and people will increasingly have to go to Tijuana or Orange County to catch their flights.

Without authorization for a new airport (and the vote margin from 2006 implies no chance of getting one), the Airport Authority is trying to make do with the existing airports. The full build-out of SAN is one element of that, and once there are enough gates for it, SAN will be pretty much exclusively dedicated to passenger travel (private aviation and freight will be diverted to smaller airports around San Diego that are also getting retrofitted to handle additional demand). If we didn't make these changes, SAN would reach capacity even earlier and the congestion would be even worse.

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Avatar for user 'no_soup_for_you'

no_soup_for_you | June 8, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

I heard our lousy airport is a big road block to SD ever getting the Olympics here.

It's not equipped to handle large scale international travel.

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Avatar for user 'no_soup_for_you'

no_soup_for_you | June 8, 2014 at 9:48 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

And Charles Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer. What moron named the airport after a Nazi sympathizer?

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | June 8, 2014 at 10:12 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Stalin made a pack with Hitler. Did that make him a Nazi sympathizer? I do agree with your comment about the Olympics, no-soup-for-you.

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Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | June 8, 2014 at 10:21 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago


think about how things work in san diego, once the contractors are done making a fortune on the current airport revamp , they will be involved in making a newer, better ( longer runway at a good location)

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Avatar for user 'tarfu7'

tarfu7 | June 9, 2014 at 7:10 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Peking_Duck and Mmikey:

From your accusatory tones you seem to want to blame government & its contractors for all problems, but as Iridium noted, the government here is doing exactly what the voters directed it to do. About 10 years ago the Airport Authority recognized all of the capacity issues you are pointing out, and asked the voters for permission to begin looking for a bigger airport. The voters said NO very resoundingly. So now the Airport is following the voter mandate and trying to maximize the small space it has to work with.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | June 10, 2014 at 2:25 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

SAN cannot stay where it is if San Diego wishes to grow economically.

The simplest plan is to move SAN to MCAS Miramar.

Reopen MCAS El Toro and move the Marines there.

Cost, practicality, and functionality are all satisfied for civilians and the Marines.

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Avatar for user 'TJworker'

TJworker | June 10, 2014 at 4:11 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

I do understand that there are a million issues involved with moving the airport, it seems logical to move it to MCAS, but you can't expect the folks running this stuff to figure that out. I am not surprised at all.
If anyone can tell me who gave, and who accepted the bribe for this, please enlighten me.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 10, 2014 at 4:44 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago


We have a representative democracy, and I would think certain issues that involve the expertise of many functional areas - urban planning, environmental, aviation, military, transportation, economics, international business - just to name a few - are better left up to elected officials committed to doing all this research rather than public votes where whichever special interest has enough money to outspend everyone will prevail.

The ballot initiative process in California is NOT democracy.

It is a money race.

When it comes to major infrastructure, elected officials are supposed to do the research of all various aspects and make conclusions based on the greater need of the city as a whole.

Individual voters rarely if ever do this.

This is what we pay our elected officials for.

We don't pay them to be cowards who are afraid to make correct decisions without the protection of a vote, especially when the issue being voted on is crucial to the economic vitality of our entire region.

The vote should have never happened.

Did we vote on San Onofre closing?

No, it was a hazard and public officials with the help of experts and regulatory officials in that arena made the choice.

I agree with CADefender 100% with regards to this issue.

It's easier to relocate a military base than an entire city.

I know a lot of our local politicians are on the take from military contracts, but this issue has just become ridiculous in how absurdly public officials will damage our entire region to simply coddle miramar as a sacred cow.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 10, 2014 at 4:54 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

TJWorker :

If anyone can tell me who gave, and who accepted the bribe for this, please enlighten me."


I have no information on bribes, but I can tell you that San Diego's chief public transit and urban infrastructure planning agency "SANDAG" is a corrupt, hideously inept bureaucracy.

Their planning has all along been geared towards cars, and they have based our mass transit layout on the principle that only people in poor areas ride transit.

This is, of course, not true and it is the exact opposite of how more progressive cities like Seattle and SF have planned.

Now, SANDAG is trying to play catch-up and do their trolley from downtown to the Biotech Center of UCSD/Sorrento Valley, something that should have been done years ago before the lines out to El Cajon.

Not only is not having a line to the airport beyond ridiculous, but what about not having a line up to Balboa Park and the Zoo? And to mid-town - Hillcrest/North Park?

Think of all the tourists who would ride it form their DT hotels up to the park and zoo.

We have a trolley line that goes to the border and out to East County, but it doesn't even connect within our city's inner core.

Much like the flailing airport, it's a joke.

SANDAG is far too busy involving themselves in public spying things for the government that we aren't supposed to know about - like license plate readers to track everyone - so they can't be bothered with actual solid urban planning.

And no, I'm not wearing a tinfoil hat right now - look it up - SANDAG is at the forefront of working with the police to track people in all sorts of disturbing ways.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | June 10, 2014 at 8:49 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we should use all of the Port Authority's budget on a consultant's report about moving the airport to Miramar. Oh, what? We already did that several times? Maybe we should have them survey all the residents of Mira Mesa, Scripp's Ranch, UTC, University City, North Clairemont, La Jolla, Penasquitos, etc. All built long after Miramar started operations. They complain about the noise now, what does the "brain trust" above think will happen when the residents are faced with a constant, never ending stream of multi engine jet airliners?

It won't ever happen, get over it. How about the brilliant plan to build a "Bullet Train" to El Centro and put a giant airport out there? Oh no, where would we put the windmills and mirror farms for clean electricity.

Maybe our airport will max out and help put a reasonable limit on growth here in the San Diego area. Along with the water shortages, limited power options, limited space, etc.

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Avatar for user 'Eddie89'

Eddie89 | June 11, 2014 at 10:23 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

It seems that the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) syndrome is strong here in San Diego. Not everything should go to a public vote, since we're not a pure democracy.

Sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the "greater good" and having better transportation options requires bold leaders to take charge and make these tough decisions.

After all, the motto for San Diego County is "The noblest motive is the public good."

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2014 at 11:51 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Nice communist slogans there, Eddie! I feel like I am reading USSR posters (translated to English, of course)

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 11, 2014 at 11:54 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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Avatar for user 'WaltBrewer'

WaltBrewer | June 12, 2014 at 4:33 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Good overview of the Plan and of the airport in the pictures. Certainly a tight squeeze!
I’ll leave it to the pros for decisions to maximize gates numbers, while meeting aviation, service, and especially convenience to travelers.
But don’t you have the cart before the horse?
Are not there some more basic decisions to be made before expensive mods to terminals, parking, access, etc?
If the current planning builds out to 2035matching aeronautical capacity, are you still considering “Destination Lindbergh?”** I hope you are not.
Reconfiguring the airport to the north side to justify MTS’ desire for a multi-modal terminal near a trolley stop is overkill. Optimistic use is about the same as much more simple Old Town Transit Center. And is unlikely to be noticed on Harbor Drive traffic. For questionable convenience to a few mass transit users, why build complete new Terminal facilities? And all travelers, crews, etc., transported across the airport to gates at current more useful Terminals!
Lindbergh is one of the most convenient drive/ride to park, or dropoff, then walk to gates in the world.
That should be the principal objective for realistic improvements as San Diego grows.
There is already an expandable shuttle for principal downtown locations. Stop near a trolley station could be added.
If mass transit advocate Supervisor Ron Roberts disagrees with trolley to the airport, why tale the airport to the trolley; at great expense and inconvenience to most travelers?
Some overall design suggestions considering need to mesh with, and define the Terminal improvements being considered as permanent:
Priority to route the I-5 ramps being considered directly to the current parking, as close t to Terminals as possible. Tunnel where needed. Expensive, but look at the cost and inconvenience for the alternatives. While automated travel on narrow guideways in the future can reduce road traffic, and provide service direct to gate areas, autos, including automated will dominate for the period of interest.
Applying the convenience to travelers rule further, terminate the ramps underground near escalator equipped terminals. Incorporate underground parking. More expensive but frees up more land for the airport related investments you cite. Terminal design interactions with preferred forms of personal access is obvious.
** Please keep Lindbergh in the airport’s official title.
His accomplishments overshadow opinions held at a time the extent of Hitler’s intentions was not clear. Hus accomplishments promoting aviation, and the San Diego connection put him right up with the Wright Brothers. “International” is old news, and of little community value.
I hope this will be useful to the Authority, and assist discussions in meetings with users and the public.

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Avatar for user 'RichardRider'

RichardRider | June 12, 2014 at 10:04 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

One no-cost airport improvement would be to change the policy concerning drop-offs and pick-ups at the new terminal. Congestion in the pick-up area can be horrendous -- tickets issued, stress of angry drivers, fender benders, pollution from delays, wasted time, etc. EVERYONE dreads picking up at the terminals.

At the new terminal, in the evening when few flights are leaving and many are arriving, encourage drivers to pick up their arriving passengers at the DEPARTURE level. After 8-9 PM it's pretty much a ghost town up there, while the ARRIVAL area below often is a madhouse.

I presume that in the morning a similar situation exists for people dropping off passengers. But it takes far longer on average to find and pick up passengers than to drop 'em off.

This "wrong level" is a trick a few of us are aware of. I've used it to GREAT advantage for a couple years.

And every person who does this reduces the congestion at the other drive-by site -- a win-win. The airport could start this process by encouraging town cars, cabs and "Uber" drivers to divert during certain hours, using the "wrong" level to disgorge or pick up passengers. Cell phones make this a routine process.

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Avatar for user 'JeanMarc'

JeanMarc | June 12, 2014 at 11:22 a.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

They could bulldoze the barrio logan area and put a new airport there.

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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | June 12, 2014 at 12:15 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Do not spend anymore money replacing or remodeling the terminal buildings on Harbor Drive. Move all terminals to the northeast corner of the airfield and
fold them into a new multimodal transportation center facility linking air passengers with trains, trolleys and rental cars. Eventually, use cut and cover to put all automobile traffic BELOW Harbor Drive and build a new runway in the Harbor Drive right of way along the south edge of the airfield. Presto, you now have two runways at Lindbergh Field, and the trolley links to go with them.

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Avatar for user 'jenjen'

jenjen | June 12, 2014 at 12:32 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

There would have been an opportunity to get another runway on the current site IF MCRD had actually moved to El Toro at that time when they threatened to, just before the Liberty Station deal happened. If a ton of the parking had been moved out to where Liberty Station went and if they got the MCRD land, there would definitely have been enough room to reconfigure the property for two runways. Won't ever happen now though. The best they can hope for at this point would be if the couriers stuff moved out.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | June 12, 2014 at 3:13 p.m. ― 2 years, 8 months ago

Whether it's Miramar or one of the other options people have mentioned, it will take at least a couple decades to do all the planning and construction.

Why is the Airport Authority and city officials simply ignoring this?

Is there discussion behind the scenes that the public is unaware of, or are these people really as clueless as the appear?

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