Sun, Aug 20, 2006
City Eyes Base As Possible Replacement For Lindbergh Field
A ballot measure being put to voters in San Diego November 7 --
aimed at exploring the possible replacement of Lindbergh Field, by
starting up commercial operations at USMC Air Station Miramar --
may be in dead in the water, as a senior Marine Corps. official
made it quite clear this week the military still has plans for the
At issue are new orders passed down from Maj. Gen. John F.
Goodman, commander of Marines operation forces in the Pacific --
telling Miramar to prepare to become a key base for the upcoming
F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, and the MV-22 Osprey.
That role would maintain Miramar as a key installation for
national defense "for decades to come," according to the San Diego
That may deal a blow to proponents of placing a commercial
airport at Miramar in the next 10 years, as a proposed way of
replacing the current San Diego International Airport. While nearly
everyone agrees the air station is currently too busy to handle
such a move... many had hoped room would be freed up at Miramar
when the base's current fleet of F/A-18s is fazed out over the next
Unfortunately for airport proponents, however, Miramar has
proven to be "too good a place to leave," in the words of Lt. Gen.
John G. Castellaw -- who also added that by 2012, at least five
F-35 squadrons will be flying from the base.
Despite the apparent setback, advocates for commercial
operations at Miramar are optimistic things may still work out in
"We're looking at a long-term solution," said Paul Nieto,
vice-chairman of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority's board
of directors. "And I believe if (the Marines) work with us there
are a lot of solutions."
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