Once again, Dear Readers, pat yourselves on the back for outstanding feedback and your thoughtful participation in this wonderful public forum addressing important local issues.
As a well-trained attorney and a partner at one of San Diego’s finest local law firms, I always ask myself, Am I prepared to cite an authority to back up my statements? In this case, I am. The Airport Authority’s President and CEO Thella Bowens stated publicly at the Airport Authority Board meeting last Thursday, July 10, 2008, that only 65 percent of the existing gates at Lindbergh Field are being occupied by the airlines right now. [Note to self: If I subtract 65% occupancy from 100% of the gates, I believe that leaves 35% of the gates unoccupied—better pull out my calculator] The beauty of American government is that Ms. Bowen’s statement is a matter of public record. The video transcript is probably available at the Authority’s website at www.san.org, and is most certainly available in audio or video form via a Public Records request.
As for Montgomery Field, I stand with each of you that it should never be closed down. Having worked at Jimsair Aviation Services, which serves corporate and private aviation at Lindbergh Field, for the last three-and-a-half years, I am a staunch advocate for keeping our general aviation airports alive and thriving. Local airports are priceless assets to the lifeblood of our communities. Virtually every General Aviation airport around the country is being threatened by developers and communities that either want the land for other development or don’t want the noise and aggravation of airplanes flying over their backyards. Having also served on the National Aviation Transportation Association’s Airports Committee for the last three years, and having met with various FAA representatives over the years on precisely these issues, I can assure you that the FAA is dedicated to preserving our national transportation system which includes thousands of GA airports all over the country, and certainly includes Montgomery Field. Montgomery Field was never at risk of closure, and if all those who appreciate its value continue to be vigilant, it won’t be at any time in the future either.