California County Pitches for New Airport

Building a new regional airport in sparsely populated Imperial County could see that county moved from its long-standing seat in coach to first-class among Southern California power brokers.

The response that Filner got from a Navy official was that it does not have sufficient information to make any comment.

Filner, whose 51st Congressional District includes all of Imperial County, has championed the airport being built there and linking it to San Diego with a train powered by magnetic levitation technology. A preliminary calculation suggests that a train leaving a point in the Miramar area could reach Imperial in about 25 minutes.

A member of the House Transportation Committee, Filner got a nearly $800,000 appropriation last year for a study of the high-speed train link to San Diego. That study is being conducted by the San Diego Association of Governments, with an initial report expected next month.

A new airport would be built through a combination of federal grants and authority-issued bonds repaid through revenues generated by leases with airlines and airport concessionaires. The authority has said the only local tax dollars that would be required would be those needed to pay for highway improvements.

Contact staff writer Mark Walker at (760) 740-3529 or To comment on this story, visit our Web site at

Two town halls set on airport search

A pair of town hall meetings on the search for a place to build a new commercial airport will take place in North County later this month.

The first session is set for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Oceanside Senior Citizens Center, 455 County Club Lane in Oceanside.

The second takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, at the Vista City Council chambers, 600 Eucalyptus Ave. in Vista.

Both will be moderated by North County Times Editor Kent Davy.

For more information, call (619) 400-2470 or visit the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority's Web site at


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