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I’ll try to make this interesting and ignore all the boring economic stuff. Suffice to say that we import everything into San Diego except avocados, poinsettias and gravel.

We bring in all the raw materials or component parts for products that are assembled here and exported around the world. All this import and export is “goods movement” and it forms the basis for our economy, including the ideas that are associated with the intellectual property created by the bio tech and hi tech industries.

Those ideas are eventually transformed into a material product like a CDMA cell phone or a new drug. And that’s where transportation comes in, both surface, air and sea. Today, 40 percent of the value of all world trade is moved by air cargo, yet it represents only 2 percent of all world trade if measured by weight. So, the real money travels by air. Afterall, you want that product bought on eBay to arrive via FedEx tomorrow, and the factory needs its ‘just in time’ delivery schedule to avoid needless inventory costs.

So if you are not connected to the global economy by air, it will be difficult to compete in the 21st Century; your region would be handicapped much like an injured athlete on the playing field. To understand why airports are important, look to history. If your town was by passed by the interstate highway system in the 20th Century, it suffered. If your town was bypassed by the railroad in the 19th Century, it suffered. So an efficient transportation system is absolutely critical to maintaining a strong economy with its high standard of living. It’s not just about an airport though, you have to connect that airport to the surface transportation system just as you must connect seaports to railroads. And that’s why we need Props. A, 1A and 1B.

– JOHN CHALKER

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