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Posted by on Oct 11, 2018 in Jim's Take on the Market, Local Flavor, Local Government | 7 comments | Print Print

Palomar Airport Extension Approved

Wondering what the Boeing 737 airplane needs for a runway? 

The minimum runway distance for a 737 is 6,800ft.  This proposal only extends the current runway to 5,697ft.

The article:

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Wednesdsay to approve a new 20-year master plan for the McClellan-Palomar Airport. Supervisor Kristin Gaspar recused herself.

Part of the update includes extending the existing runway up to 800 feet. The county of San Diego said this would allow airplanes to reach the East Coast, Europe and China without having to refuel.

People living in the area are concerned that a longer runway could mean a lot of noisy planes — but Supervisor Bill Horn, who is also a pilot, said technology is helping fix that.

“Those airplanes are a lot quieter than the old stuff,” Horn said. “And that’s just going to improve the noise issue.”

A report from county staff said a longer runway would mean airplanes are able to increase elevation sooner after takeoff which could also reduce noise on the ground.

An economic analysis shows that by 2030 the Palomar airport could support more than 4,500 jobs and provide $33 million in state and local tax revenue. The runway extension project is expected to take 13 to 20 years to complete, depending on available funding.

The airport is constructed over portions of an inactive landfill, and stakeholders commented that runway extensions constructed over landfill areas could damage the methane collection system and impact the environment. Prior to construction of any improvements on the landfill, the methane collection system will be re-designed to accommodate the improvements.

Any runway extension that requires construction over areas of inactive landfill may not be fully eligible for the FAA’s usual 90% grant share since FAA has indicated they may be reluctant to fund projects that result from the County’s placement of the landfills.

Link to KPBS article


  1. I grew up in Anaheim when Air California began commercial service at “Orange County” airport using propeller aircraft. I remember there being an outcry, but since commercial flights were limited to a maximum of about 6 a day, it wasn’t such a terrible annoyance to the citizens.

    Deja Vu all over again.

  2. Lovely (thanks mrdot):

    As of 2015, the largest airlines at John Wayne Airport were Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Delta Air Lines.[9]

    The main runway, at 5,701 feet (1,738 m), is one of the shortest of any major airport in the United States, and passenger airliners at the airport have never been larger than the Boeing 757. (Some larger cargo aircraft fly from SNA, such as the FedEx A310/300.) Some gates are built to handle planes up to the size of a Boeing 767, which could operate with payload/fuel load restrictions. No wide-body passenger airliners have ever been scheduled at SNA.

  3. When destinations such as Asia or Europe are discussed reference CRQ, the aircraft being referred to are business jets not the airlines. Those destinations are served by air carriers using B747/787/777 and similar Airbus aircraft, that could not depart from CRQ due to runway and taxiway weight capacity ratings among numerous other reasons. However, today corporate aircraft that could reach EU and Asia non-stop can’t.. because they cant depart fully fueled due to the current runway length.

  4. I’ve never understood why airline service (of some kind, even turboprop) hasn’t survived at CLD (KCRQ). There’s a lot of potential convenience for someone in North County relative to schlepping all the way down to San Diego airport.

    Some kind of regional jet service to San Francisco would seem to be a no-brainer.

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