Monday, May 22, 2006
Airport panel votes to put Miramar on ballot
By Jeff Ristine and Greg Gross
The San Diego (CA) Union-Tribune
SAN DIEGO – Over the Pentagon’s objections, airport officials took a big step Monday toward asking voters to approve the idea of sharing Miramar Marine Corps Air Station with a new civilian airport to replace Lindbergh Field. The Strategic Planning Committee of the Regional Airport Authority voted 3-1 to put the shared airport idea before voters. The issue now goes to the full nine-member authority board in two weeks.
With the board’s approval, the issue would go on a countywide ballot in November. Approval by the full board is considered a virtual certainty.
The measure would ask voters whether San Diego County government officials should “make every effort to persuade Congress and the military” to make a portion of the installation available for a civilian operation by 2020.
It further provides that military readiness and safety should be “maintained with no cost to the military for relocating or modifying operations.”
A proposed ballot question drafted by committee member Paul Peterson addresses the military’s adamant opposition to joint use.
The military repeatedly has rejected any suggestion of sharing Miramar or any of its other air facilities with a new civilian airport, citing training needs and safety concerns.
The airport authority has been charged with finding a replacement for the single-runway Lindbergh Field, which officials say will be unable to meet the region’s air transit demands after 2020.