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Tuesday, May 6, 2008 | Dear Editor,
I arrived home after work last Thursday, May 1, to the strange sight of fixed-wing aircraft sharing the airspace of the Imperial Beach Naval Outlying Field (Ream Field) with what appeared to be normal helicopter operations. From the vantage point of my backyard, I watched the Red Bull pilots dive and slice through their towers, nicely set up in the middle of the runway, while Navy helicopters performed their normal maneuvers, rotating around the airfield. When I called North Island, I was informed that the tower had everything under control and asked if I wished to file a noise complaint. My concern, I told them, was not noise but safety. They filed my call as a noise complaint anyway. The joint use continued on Friday. Since I have been repeatedly informed over the course of many years, that fixed wing and helicopter operations in the same air space are dangerously incompatible, and that civilian and military flights can never safely operate out of the same airport, a couple of questions quickly come to mind. If the tower can control such flight operations at Ream Field, why can’t they do the same at North Island, thereby saving our military the expense of keeping Ream Field active? If both civilian and military aircraft can fly out of the same military instillation, why can’t the airliners utilizing Lindbergh Field move to Miramar, thus creating a more practical and safer joint use airport, freeing the space occupied by our extremely inadequate San Diego International Airport for development benefiting the city, county, and port of San Diego?