The first airport commercials hit the AM and FM airwaves this week. The Coalition to Preserve the Economy has begun running a 30-second spot.

It goes like this:

Tired of traffic jams and bad streets? Tired of bad planning and no one thinking about the future? You need to vote yes on Proposition A. Proposition A is about the future. Proposition A will ensure our air transportation system doesn’t become obsolete and that it meets the needs of the 21st century. Proposition A will allow us to plan ahead and avoid future problems with air transportation. Vote yes on Proposition A – it’s a step forward.

It’s interesting to note the familiar theme that is included in the spot. The audio file is available here.

The word “future” is used almost as many times (three) as the Miramar ballot measure’s title, Proposition A (five). New airport supporters have long been appealing to the future. “Fly into the Future” is the tagline on the airport authority’s outreach. Smiling children appeared in a recent mailer. The word “future” appeared five times in it.

This highlights a fundamental challenge the authority faces in making the case for a new airport: We’re not having serious problems today. The city’s economy is chugging along – weakening the argument (new airport = job growth) that helped push through a Denver’s new airport in the early 1990s. Air capacity issues, according to the authority’s projections, won’t hit until between 2015 and 2022.

It’s also worth noting what words the pro-Miramar political action committee left out.

Number of times it mentions the word “Miramar”: Zero.

Number of times it mentions the word “military”: Zero.

Number of times it mentions the word “Marines”: Zero.

Number of times it mentions the words “Lindbergh Field”: Zero.

ROB DAVIS

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