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I support Proposition A as part of a greater effort to address the long-standing airport problem in San Diego. Today’s freeway traffic congestion is the result of failing to plan for the future; I want to avoid that situation with our air transportation system by beginning to plan today for the year 2030. And let’s remember that the airport is the largest single economic engine in any metropolitan region; it contributes to our region’s economy, our standard of living and our quality of life. It’s a key ingredient for our successful tourism, convention, biotech and hi tech industries.

The work of the airport authority, the Federal Aviation Administration and numerous independent, nationally regarded aviation consultants have reached the conclusion that sometime in the next 10-20 years, Lindbergh Field will not be able to meet the San Diego region’s demand for passenger and air cargo services, regardless of the expansion that takes place at Lindbergh Field.

Why? Because at 660 acres it is too small to accommodate any major expansion that would include a second runway, additional terminal facilities, desperately needed air cargo facilities, a fixed base operator and ground transportation infrastructure. Even acquisition of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot would not provide sufficient land for expansion. And the construction of a second runway would impact tens of thousands of additional homes and businesses and still not solve the problem.

The airport authority’s comprehensive study has shown that the Miramar area is the best location for a new airport based upon access, convenience to both the population center and downtown, cost, environmental and technical issues. It is conveniently accessible by rail and three surrounding freeways, and the 23,000-acre area provides an excellent buffer zone to diminish the noise impacts from a new airport. The nearest non-military alternative site is over 65 miles distant in the mountains near Campo at a 4,000 ft. elevation. Not an attractive location for an airport to support local tourism and convention facilities.

Unfortunately, the military controls the Miramar site and they are unwilling to seriously discuss their participation in any solution, whether it be joint use or full civilian use.

In this, I am very disappointed. The military is a major part of this community and no solution can be reached without their participation, yet they have chosen to “take a pass” on this important issue and to let the region fend for itself regardless of the consequences.

So I support Proposition A to send a message to the airport authority, elected officials and the military to begin discussions about the future air transportation needs of the region. I don’t want to see us experience airport congestion in the future comparable to today’s freeway congestion.

JOHN CHALKER

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