Monday, Nov. 6, 2006 | William D. Lynch has repeatedly said that “a new airport must be within 25 miles of downtown, that the average distance is 11.3 miles for the largest 67 cities.” It is informative to look at the facts. Older airports are up to 15 miles from downtown. Originally built in rural areas, they are now surrounded by urban development. Airports have a significant noise and air pollution impact on their neighbors, thereby limiting their ability to expand facilities. Because of this, newer airports have been built 15 to 41 miles from city centers. In 1989 Denver International Airport was built 26 miles from Denver on 53 square miles of rural prairie in the adjacent Adams County (which was annexed by Denver, increasing its size by 50 percent). Other airports have been built ever further from city centers, e.g. Montreal (40 miles), Tokyo (41 miles), Kuala Lumpur (41 miles). Currently Chicago’s Airport Authority is purchasing farmland in rural Illinois to build an airport 47 miles from
Chicago. Airports in Japan have been built on offshore man-made islands. Unless paid to say otherwise, airport consultants recommend building airports away from population centers to minimize adverse noise and air pollution impacts. Equally important, new airports are to be built as part of a comprehensive multimodal transportation system. New airports are not built in the center of a fully developed urban community such as MCAS Miramar. We need an airport authority that can think out of the box instead of persisting in a myopic vision of times past. Vote NO on Prop A to make the airport authority generate a proposal for the 21st century.