Friday, June 29, 2007 | I’m writing with regard to your recent article on Kearny Mesa and pressures to close Montgomery Field. Closure of Montgomery Field to make way for housing would be shortsighted. General aviation is frequently dismissed as an unimportant segment of the aviation spectrum because it is commonly viewed as consisting of “little planes” typified by the common single-engine Cessna. With the recent development of the VLJ (Very Light Jet) concept by several manufacturers, general aviation is changing in such a way that there is potential to conduct air operations of greater economic importance at small airports with relatively short runways. In San Diego, the bulk of business jet traffic is currently concentrated at two airports: Lindbergh Field and Carlsbad Palomar. With the predicted growth of VLJ use, it is likely that airports such as Montgomery Field would see a significant increase in business jet traffic in the form of VLJs. Up until now, Montgomery!
Field’s relatively short runways have prevented the use of most traditional larger business aircraft but business travelers using VLJs would have Montgomery Field as an attractive alternative to landing at Lindbergh or Carlsbad. VLJs are predicted to start appearing in large numbers in the near future and they will have to land somewhere. Closing Montgomery Field will only increase congestion at the remaining airports and forfeit an economic driver for Kearny Mesa and the surrounding area.