What’s wrong with 660 acres as the size for an airport? Well, have you ever tried to jam a big square peg into a small round hole? Try and imagine another runway to serve our needs jammed into the highlighted areas in Mr. Nifontoff’s commentary. It just doesn’t work. Why? Because you need room for gates to park the airplanes, acreage for terminals, air cargo, FBO’s and ground transportation infrastructure. Read the FAA report yourself and pay close attention to the comments about San Diego on page 18.
As for those military training areas, you should know this. Combined arms’ training is not conducted at MCAS Miramar – the only training of consequence conducted there are Field Carrier Landing Practices (FCLPs), which are restricted to certain hours. Miramar is an aircraft hangar, maintenance, take-off and landing facility in the middle of a major metropolitan area. The combined arms training in the southwest complex of ranges and installations takes place at Camp Pendleton, the large Marine Air-Ground Combat Center at 29 Palms and MCAS Yuma, Arizona. Therefore, it would be much better to locate these aviation assets and support units with the combined arms training ranges that they support – this would obviate the need to fly over a major metropolitan area via circuitous, costly and time-consuming routes from Miramar to get to the training ranges over 150 miles away.
I want to finish with this thought. National security is a priority for San Diegans, and no one is suggesting that the Marines move from Miramar under a short-fused timeline that would be detrimental to training and readiness. Rather, closure of the flight operations portion of Miramar would take place in the 10 to 15 year timeframe – plenty of time to adequately plan and phase the movement of flight operations to bases where the combined arms training takes place.