Thella Bowens, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority’s president/CEO, responded with a lengthy letter countering several points in the Qualcomm letter that became public last week.

In the Qualcomm letter, Jim Callaghan, the company’s vice president of real estate and facilities, said building a joint-use airport at Miramar might force the company to leave its Sorrento Valley headquarters and perhaps San Diego altogether.

Bowens’ letter to Nikki Clay, chairwoman of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, called out several inaccuracies in Callaghan’s letter, which contained more than the threat.

Callaghan: We’re being asked to vote on joint-use.

Bowens: “Nothing in the ballot language speaks to joint use at Miramar. Rather, it asks voters to authorize a dialogue with the military to seek a long-term solution for the region’s air transportation needs.”

Callaghan: There has been no movement on a master plan at Lindbergh Field.

Bowens: “This is incorrect. In June 2005 the Airport Authority Board selected the preferred alternative for the San Diego International Airport Master Plan.”

But if Callaghan’s letter boils down to one point – the Fortune 500 company’s threat to leave San Diego – then Bowens’ letter boils down to a response to that threat. She writes: “In terms of impacts that a new airport may have on future land use restrictions, those can only be determined once a final concept and runway locations are determined.”


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