McClellan-Palomar Airport

Saturday, February 19, 2005
Progress made on Carlsbad airport noise plan
The Escondido (CA) North County Times

CARLSBAD — Progress has been made on a “Fly Friendly” campaign that aims to improve the relationship between pilots and the people who live near McClellan-Palomar Airport, county officials, pilots and the residents said this week. However, much work remains and the campaign’s education materials won’t be generally distributed in the near future, members of the Palomar Airport Advisory Board said Thursday.

The campaign’s proposed logo has been revised, but the new airport policy materials that pilots and homeowners will get haven’t been written, board President Ramona Finnila said.

“It’s not going to be an easy thing because there are so many parts to this,” Finnila said of the campaign effort.

The airport, which is just east of Palomar Airport Road, is owned by San Diego County but falls within the city of Carlsbad’s borders. Both the county Board of Supervisors and Carlsbad’s City Council may want to look at the campaign materials before they are released, Finnila said.

Residents, particularly those who live in the housing developments southwest of the airport, said they were disappointed to hear that the process will take so long. They have been lobbying for months to stop planes from disturbing their night- or daytime activities.

At first, they demanded that the pilots stop making flights at night or flights south of the recommended 250-degree flight departure path. Then they discovered that flight policies they thought were rules are actually “recommended guidelines,” so pilots aren’t breaking any laws.

They have since proposed the “Fly Friendly” effort — a two-pronged approach to the problem. Residents and pilots both will receive educational materials on the airport’s policies, and pilots will learn ways they can be “good neighbors.”

A proposed airport slogan for the campaign is “We care about your sleep.”

Airport board members and pilots said at Thursday’s meeting that the campaign may not be “official” yet, but it is already having an effect.

Phyllis Trombi, the local pilots association representative, told the advisory board that the “Fly Friendly” campaign’s proposed logo was shown to more than 120 pilots at a training session Wednesday.

“Pilots absolutely had a positive reaction last night,” she said. “We want to be a part of this, and we’re in it for the right reason.”

Several airport board members also said they met twice in the last month to discuss the program and are now working on literature that could be handed out to homeowners associations in the neighborhoods around the airport.