On February 13, 2006 Marion C. Blakey, FAA Administrator, gave notice to the Palm Springs Tracon and Tower Controllers that TRACON services out the Palm Springs TRACON facility would be transferred to the San Diego TRACON facility by September 2006. Experienced personnel now living in this area and working both tower and Tracon would have to move to San Diego. The consolidation of services out of San Diego would eliminate duplication of services, according to the FAA, but reduce VFR services with the potential of another blackout as it happened during the San Diego fires of 3 years ago. During that blackout KPSP and other independent TRACONs continue to work alleviating the emergency in the SOCAL TRACON, one reason why this relocation is questionable. The local general aviation community and the 1.3 million passengers that enplane and deplane at the KPSP airport may not continue to receive the quality of service and safety. The FAA has yet to openly come out with this project.
The move is financially motivated at the cost of safety.
Rafael Sierra, President
Palm Springs Pilots Association
For more information on the Palm Springs Pilots Association go to their web site.