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~ New 20 Year Master Plan Options ~

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Click the below video to see and hear what the San Diego Board of Supervisors said when they approved the expansion of McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ) from a Class B-II to a Class C/D-III in the

October 10, 2018 meeting.

San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted 4 to 0 to approve expanding McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ) into a FAA Design Class D-III Airport.

True to form, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors ignored its own staffs' recommendation and approved the D-III Option for the future expansion of  McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ) locate directly in the center of Carlsbad.  WAS THE FIX IN?

However and most important during the Boards' discussion and ONLY if you understand "FAA Speak", it became obvious McClellan-Palomar will become a "Reliever Airport" for San Diego International (SAN) and maybe John Wayne Airport (SNA). 


FAA definition of a Reliever Airport(s)  - are airports designated by the FAA to relieve congestion at Commercial Service Airports and to provide improved general aviation access to the overall community. These may be publicly or privately-owned.

Additionally, all discussion stated and indicated in 13 to 20 years the airport will be expanded to the D-III configuration approved in this meeting.  BUT, and this is a BIG BUT, the approved Master Plan states  "... While the Airport Master Plan serves as a useful tool for planning and project funding purposes during a 20-year period, implementation of individual projects is dependent on available funding and current priorities...."  Based on San Diego County's past lack of transparency and the lack of available nationwide airport space for the FAA to land its planes, it's more than likely this statement is saying:

 The CRQ expansion will occur within the immediate future and NOT 13 to 20 year out.


In addition, the approved D-III option goes a long way in validating this was the original intent of the new Master Plan as expressed in Supervisor Bill Hon's December 16, 2015 statement "We are building an airport for the next 50 year, if not 100." and the March 7, 2016 "International Airport" statements in the video links below.

      Click to hear the planned future of McClellan-Palomar

The above was recorded from the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Dec. 16, 2015 meeting. 

Was Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall and the City Council "Asleep at the switch." OR were they ignoring this fact because they supported the airport expansion?  IF the answer is they ignored the stated facts, are they all in violation of THEIR FIRST and FOREMOST RESPONSIBILITY - to protect their residents welfare?






Unknown Track - Unknown Artist
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After spending hundreds of hours analyzing the new McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ) Master Plan, one conclusion became obvious - this Plan has no viable reason WHY the CRQ expansion is required or ready for prime time!  For example - approximately 600 feet or more of the runway extension will require driving 100's of pylons through the unlined landfill and its below aquifer - all the way down to bedrock.


There were no environmental studies explaining how this can be accomplished without further contaminating the Aquifer nor the cost to accomplish this in the County's documents.  The only definitive item on the cost that was stated is the FAA will not fund building runways over a landfill.  WOW, what does the FAA know the County of San Diego seem to be ignoring? 

The below is a representation of how the County's New Master plan describes the runway extension will be accomplished.

Additionally, this plan was approved with more than 1,000 questions and comments from the residents who will be negatively impacted by an expanding airport virtually left unanswered. 

Today, there is a PARADIGM SHIFT in regional transportation underway.

Making San Diego County's reasons to expand CRQ NO LONGER VALID!

Click above to see Report

* Past History - Looks Like the FIX was Always In. *

March 7, 2016 - In an interview with KUSI News, Supervisor Bill Horn stated McClellan-Palomar will become an almost International Airport:

December 16, 2015, San Diego Board of Supervisor Meeting on CRQ's future.  Supervisor Bill Horn "We are planning a very, very viable commercial operation for the next 50 years if not 100."  Click to view the meeting - the CRQ portion of the meeting starts at the 50 min mark.


2011 Campaign for Reelection for Supervisor Supervisor -  Bill Horn was quoted in saying:

2 Floor

Past Public Workshop Notes

April 30, 2015  - Vince Hourigan, project manager of the runway extension engineering team, confirmed CRQ will be a regional airport!  Finally a somewhat truthful presentation of the planned future of CRQ.  However, unless the audience understood the new direction the airline industry has taken, the audience was not given enough information to fully understand the ramifications of what was presented - see Our Future section.


That said, it was an interesting presentation by Kimley-Horn; even though, it was lacking in details for a project that is already nine (9) months behind schedule.  But, the shift in the schedule and the lack of details is understandable because it is obvious there has been a major shift in direction of this project.  That shift, no matter what the final truth is - will be devastating to the communities around the airport.



































In reality what was presented (a few more sketches of runway movement) was not much more than presented in the 2013 Feasibility Study.  In fact, the 2013 study had detail budget estimates - this presentation had none.  Compound that with no opportunity for questions and answers - the meeting was a complete waste of time.


The lack of a Q&A opportunity frustration was expressed at the end of the Public Workshop #2 and still the county ran Workshop #3 exactly the same way.  This whole process can be best be described as one-sided, operating in a vacuum and only being held to comply with checking another box on the FAA regulations form.  The fact is - this meeting showed a complete lack of disclosure and respect for the 100 or more people who attended the meeting and who (among others) will be taking the financial hit if the runway is extended. 


Example of lack of disclosure and respect for its audience:

     What was presented and explained in the "Stay as is Option" discussion did not elaborate on this option is only viable if the County

     elects to stop receiving FAA funds.  Based on the fact the FAA is partially funding the County's study, it can be assumed the County has

     already made the decision to continued to receive FAA funding and therefore, the FAA has the final say or as the saying goes

     "whoever has the gold makes the rules."  Consequently, it must be concluded this option is only included to give the impression of an

     independent evaluation. 


Hence the communities around the airport keep paying their taxes, but have no representation.  Hum, is that not what the American Revolution was all about?

May 5, 2015 update - Expanding on what the final truth is.


Still no official announcement the County intension is to turn CRQ into another John Wayne type airport, but in the discussions about the options, it was pointed out that one option not being seriously considered is expanding outside the airport footprint. It must be assumed, that is because to do so would be a direct violation of Carlsbad's CUP 172.  If that is correct, following on the requirements CUP 172 places on the airport, all the reasoning to expand the airport inside its present footprint can also be considered a violation of CUP 172.


The sole reason presented at the workshop to expand the airport is to support the larger business jets on the drawing board and the ones now using the airport.  A good reason for expansion, but not in compliance with CUP 172 which states in Item 11 of the restrictions:


                "The existing designation of the airport as a General Aviation Basic Transport Airport shall not change unless:

                 an amendment to this CUP is approved by the Planning Commission."


The key word here is "Basic".  That word was used because at the time most small General Aviation Airports were designed for the "weekend enthusiast"/pilot.  Additionally, all the documentations, at the time, supports this contention. Today, it looks like the County has and is ignoring that definition.  Furthermore, the understanding at the time of passing CUP 172 was a "General Aviation Basic Transportation Airport" was to service Design Class B-II aircraft and definitely not Design Class C-III or D-III.


Bottom line is CUP 172 has not changed or modified.  But, in the workshop, the reason for the expansion is to accommodate Design Class C-III of D-III aircraft; therefore, it must be concluded ALL the options presented are in violation of CUP 172.


Lastly, there's the pullout of United Express.  There is a lot more to the story than was stated in the Workshop.


United Express/SkyWest pulled out because SkyWest made the decision to move its fleet to the new Design Class C-III Embraer E-175/175-E2 planes and retire its Design Class B-II Embraer E-120 Aircraft.  Presently SkyWest has 400 Embraer E-175/175-E2 aircraft on order for delivery through 2020.


As was mentioned in the Workshop, it is true SkyWest will be also flying the Bombardier CRJ 200, but only for a relatively short time.  The CRJ 200's will be retired by mid 2017 or earlier and requires a longer runway than the newer E-175.  However, the E-175 is a 76 passenger plane and CRQ is limited to no more than 70 seat aircraft.


The retirement of the E-120, soon to be retired CRJ 200 and the purchasing of new E175/175 E-2 decisions has allowed SkyWest's to turn its financial future around and stop its stock slide.  In fact, the SkyWest stock doubled after the decision was publicized six months ago.

Slides are from the Kimley-Horn #3 Public Workshop presentation

This slide is interesting in that it describes a similar solution found in a draft of the 2012 California Pacific Airlines documentation for FAA approval. 


Headlines News

LOT's of  money being spent to entice airlines to use San Diego Airport.

According to the March 22, 2018, San Diego Union Tribune article, San Diego International  Airport (SAN) committed to spending $750,000 over two years on marketing the new Lufthansa flight.  In addition SAN will waive landing fees of roughly $500,000 the first year and $250,000 in the second.  And that is not all.  According to Hampton Brown, Director of Air Service Planning, SAN has committed to include rebates for terminal space rental.

According to San Diego County, Palomar has lost millions of dollars since 2011.  How much more will Palomar have to spend to entice airlines to use its airport.

During the Nov. 16th Palomar Airport Advisory Committee (PAAC) Meeting, the County did present a presentation on the new McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ) Master Plan.  However, it was far from the "comprehensive" presentation promised.

What was presented, at best, was incomplete and full of underestimated statistics and easily disputed facts.  At worst, it was embarrassing and ignored today's statistics and reality.


See our December 2017 Newsletter for details on what was presented and what was misleading.


If this is the caliber of work approved by the County, a lot of taxpayers dollars are being wasted.  OH, but, the County claims the extension of the airport is not paid for by the taxpayers, its being paid for by the airline industry generated dollars from the FAA.  Right!  That's why congress approves the FAA's budget.

"Half a truth is often a great lie."

Benjamin Franklin

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