Navy, Coronado Weighs In On North Island Airport

SAN DIEGO — The Navy and Coronado residents are considering the possibility of turning Naval Air Station North Island into a joint-use commercial airport, 10News reported.

North Island is one of five military bases on the list for consideration as a possible location for a new airport. The air station is not only home to a number of active duty and reserve squadrons, but it’s where 40 percent of Navy’s aviation training takes place.

Airport Authority Chairman Joe Craver asked the Coronado Chamber of Commerce whether North Island can be shared with commercial aircraft. He said he was not surprised by the answer.

“Is there not anybody in favor of that here? No,” Craver said.

Craver said he is not deterred. He and others on the newly created Airport Authority Board are passionate about a solution.

He said Lindbergh Field sees 40,000 passengers a day and that number is expected to double by 2025.

And with only one runway, the reality, said Craver, will be airport gridlock.

“What our challenge is, is to have people look way out into the future 20 years from now — because in 20 years, we’re going to need a new airport,” Craver said. That sentiment, however, is not shared by everyone.

“My concern is that someone, somewhere has gotten off on the feeling that we have to have another airport,” Coronado Mayor Tom Smisek said.

The Navy is also quite adamant that sharing the airfield with tactical jets and helicopters is out of the question.

“We deal with tactical aircraft and rotary wing aircraft, and to mix that with a commercial flow would just not work,” Navy Capt. David Landon said.

Craver said no studies concerning military bases will be done until the next round of base closures is decided next year. Two more locations have been added as possible sites for a new airport

KGTV Ch 10 San Diego (CA)

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