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Biocom, the local life science business association, voted last night 18-5 to support the airport authority’s November ballot initiative.

But don’t read that as unfettered support for building an airport there.

“We’re a long way from saying we support the airport,” said Joe Panetta, Biocom’s president and CEO. “We support that discussion going forward.”

The endorsement had a significant caveat attached, Panetta said.

“We don’t believe that anyone fully appreciates what might be the potential zoning impacts of placing a commercial airport at Miramar,” he said. “We expect to be very involved in those discussions so we can watch out for the interests of our members.”

Panetta said he was unsure yet whether the organization would play a significant role in fundraising to support the ballot measure. Much of the life sciences industry is based the northern neighborhoods of San Diego, where companies have been concerned that a commercial airport at Miramar could restrict potential expansions.

Two board members abstained. Twenty-four were not present to vote.

ROB DAVIS

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