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Airport issues to be discussed

Post Date:02/29/2024

The Carlsbad City Council voted Tuesday to explore a series of recommendations from the community about ways to potentially increase the city’s influence over the local impacts of future airport changes. The County of San Diego owns and operates McLellan-Palomar Airport, although the airport property was annexed into city limits in 1978.

Many local, regional, state and federal government agencies play a role in airport operations:

  • Aircraft flight operations are regulated primarily by the Federal Aviation Administration, which is a branch of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • The National Transportation Safety Board and Transportation Security Administration regulate safety and security measures.
  • The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, in its role as the region’s Airport Land Use Commission, develops Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans based on state law. These plans provide guidance on compatible land uses around regional airports and help protect the public against the noise and safety risks.
  • The county owns the airport and is in charge of operating the airport’s surface facilities and planning for its future needs.
  • The City of Carlsbad also plays a role, primarily through its local land use authority.

Citizens for a Friendly Airport is a local nonprofit group whose mission is to educate the Carlsbad and surrounding communities about McClellan-Palomar Airport issues affecting the quality of life of surrounding communities. The group recently asked the City Council to take several actions aimed at strengthening local control over any potential changes to the airport that could negatively affect our local residents.

These proposed changes include making updates to the Zoning chapter of the city’s municipal code and the city’s General Plan to clarify issues related to the airport and resolve any perceived inconsistencies.

Tuesday’s City Council action authorizes city staff to analyze the group’s recommendations and provide a report to the City Council within the next 60 days. The City Council will consider whether to direct staff to pursue the recommendations at that meeting.

This move follows other recent City Council actions to help address resident concerns about airport noise and other issues.

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