Massive airport overhaul outlined
By Steve Schmidt
The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO – A blue-ribbon panel that includes some of the region’s top elected officials forwarded a proposal yesterday calling for a mammoth overhaul of Lindbergh Field.
The Ad Hoc Airport Regional Policy Committee, led by San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, recommended an estimated $5 billion to $11 billion in improvements through 2030, including the relocation of most passenger services to Lindbergh’s north side.
By shifting parking, rental-car lots, check-in operations and other services to Pacific Highway, the committee hopes to ease traffic on Harbor Drive and directly tie the airport to public transit and Interstate 5.
The concept now goes to the San Diego City Council and the San Diego Association of Governments for consideration, starting late this month.
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority has the final say on any Lindbergh Field improvements. Authority Chairman Alan Bersin was a member of the Sanders committee.
At the committee’s final meeting yesterday, Jarvis Ross of Point Loma dismissed the recommendation as folly, saying it makes no sense to pump money into a single-runway airport that is nearing capacity.
Sanders later noted that the region has no viable alternative to the Harbor Drive airfield. “We don’t have a choice. This is the airport we have,” he said.
Panel consultants said money for the improvements could come from airport revenue, federal grants, redevelopment funds and other sources.