This letter was published in the Golden Triangle News. It was sent to the Union-Tribune in early May 2006, and again in early June. It has not (yet!) been published in the Union-Tribune.
     
Dear Sir/Madam

The Airport Authority makes much of the apparent dire straits which Lindbergh Field currently is said to be approaching. This mantra has been repeated since I arrived in San Diego more than 20 years ago.  With much wailing and gnashing of teeth, we are assured that the airport will overflow its capacity soon; the Airport Authority's web site states that the airport "will be unable to meet air transportation demands as early as 2015".  Why, then, does a very recent forward-looking report on airport capacity from the FAA not include our airport? Use your favorite web browser to go to http://www.faama.org/news/mts/MTS0504.pdf, and you'll find a document published by the FAA manager's association in 2004. Therein, you'll find an article entitled "INSIGHT: FAA's Office of Airports takes a long, well-researched look at airport capacity through 2020". And on page 9, you'll find a long list of airports which have a capacity problem, or are predicted to develop one by 2020. And nowhere on that long list will you see Lindbergh Field. As an all-too-frequent traveller, I pass through many of the nation's busiest airports, and Lindbergh is far better than most in terms of vehicular access and passenger handling. Furthermore, according to FAA records, the "on-time" status of flights in and out of Lindbergh compares well with other busy national airports. Simply put, San Diego doesn't need a new airport. Financial considerations also weigh against it. At a time when our fair city is facing the consequences of financial mismanagement, it is not encouraging to read, on the Airport Authority web site, that the cost of a new airport and all of the associated requirements "is unknown at this time". The site claims that our local tax dollars would not be used to build a new airport; but read carefully -- airport users would pay towards the cost, and local residents would have to foot the bill for new roads, light rail etc. I look forward to being able to check the box next to "keep Lindbergh Field", when the opportunity to vote comes this Fall.

Sincerely

J L Whitton
University City