University of California, San Diego
OFFICE OF THE VICE CHANCELLOR -
October 27, 2006
ALL ACADEMICS AND STAFF AT UCSD (including UCSD Medical Center)
ALL STUDENTS AT UCSD
The San Diego Regional Airport Authority projects that continuing demand for air transport capacity in the San Diego region may exceed the capacity of Lindbergh Field as early as 2015. In an effort to plan for the region's future air transportation needs, the Airport Authority has completed a site analysis and selection process for the location of a future regional airport. The Airport Authority has concluded that Marine Corps Air Station - Miramar is the site which best meets the evaluation criteria, either in a joint military-civilian configuration or as a civilian-only operation.
The Marine Corps has stated that the air station is not available for joint or civilian use, and that Federal law prohibits use of the property as a civilian facility. In addition, the U.S. Department of Defense has been adamant that current military uses at Miramar render the facility incompatible with civilian aviation operations. Nevertheless, the Airport Authority (as required by State law) has placed a ballot measure for a County-wide vote on November 7, 2006. The advisory ballot measure seeks voter approval of the following action:
"To provide for San Diego's long-term air transportation needs, shall the Airport Authority and government officials work to obtain approximately 3,000 of 23,000 acres at MCAS Miramar by 2020 for a commercial airport, provided necessary traffic and freeway improvements are made, military readiness is maintained without expense to the military for modifying or relocating operations, no local taxes are used on the airport, overall noise impacts are reduced, and necessary Lindbergh Field improvements are completed?"
The leadership of the University of California, San Diego believes that additional information is needed to adequately assess the potential effects of using MCAS-Miramar as a civilian aviation facility:
" Additional independent study is needed to establish the severity of potential noise impacts from either joint or civilian-only operations at Miramar.
" Also, further analyses of traffic, land use, and quality of life impacts that could result from the location of a regional airport at Miramar are needed to fully understand potential negative consequences to vital educational and research, enterprises at UCSD.
UCSD's campus leadership recognizes both the need to address San Diego's long-term aviation needs and the importance of MCAS-Miramar as a military facility, and notes that expert analysts have reached divergent conclusions as to whether or not a civilian airport at Miramar would, in fact, be the best approach for meeting San Diego's future aviation needs. If this issue remains in question, we hope there will be sufficient additional analysis performed by independent experts.