Agency proposes new goals for airport; Officials say it's time to act at Lindbergh Field

Too small? Too noisy? Too congested? Too bad. As voters made clear last year by rejecting a ballot measure to possibly build a commercial airport at Miramar Marine Corps Air Station, Lindbergh Field will remain the region's main airfield...

Peace advised board members to make a "dramatic statement" about Lindbergh's future.

But Bersin, the former U.S. attorney and San Diego schools chief, and others on the board are skittish about taking on anything as sweeping as the Peace-Roberts proposal. They worry about being drawn into a broader debate over the future of the waterfront at a time when they need to press ahead with improvements at Lindbergh.

"We don't want to engage in a battle," Finnila said. "We want to proceed with our plan."

The board members will consider adopting several goals this week to steer them forward. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday in the agency office at Lindbergh.

These goals, or "guiding principles," include improving vehicle access to the airport and working with Caltrans, the Metropolitan Transit System and other agencies to develop a transit hub.

Robert Watkins, an executive member of the board, said a transit center would likely require the acquisition of land and right of way outside Lindbergh's borders.

He is eager to move ahead with improvements to Lindbergh, saying space for airplanes and passengers remains tight.

Finnila wants to push ahead, too, even if some San Diegans hold out hope that the airport will be moved.

"People think there are options out there, and there are not," she said.


Background: San Diegans have debated the fate of Lindbergh Field for decades, with many arguing it should be moved. Airport officials say the debate ended when voters last fall rejected a measure to try to move the commercial airfield to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station.

What's changing: The region's airport agency is poised this week to jump-start efforts to improve Lindbergh and possibly radically revamp its layout.

The future: Airport officials want to add more terminal gates, parking and improve the taxiway by 2015. Many passenger services, including links to ground transportation, may be moved to the airport's northeast side.

We Recommend