Vista Chamber of Commerce October Government Affairs Hears About Proposed Palomar Airport Expansion
TR Robertson –The Vista Chamber of Commerce Government Affairs Committee heard a presentation concerning the proposed McClellan-Palomar Airport expansion as well as hearing from other governmental agencies for their October meeting at The Film Hub.
The McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update & Program Environmental Impact Report began in 2011. The Plan, reported by Olivier Brackett, Airport Manager, covers proposals dealing with increasing the length of the current runway and adjustments that could include changing the runway location and extension. The proposal has gone through numerous changes, primarily based on some challenges from residents concerned with the possibility of increased noise and other concerns. The newest proposal offers two plans, referred to as D-II and D-III designs. Under the D-II design the runway length would be increased by 800 to 900 feet. Under D-II, the runway would be shifted and go through an increase length. The increased length is to accommodate aircraft like the Gulfstream 650 and larger to ensure safety with take-offs and landings. A noise impact study has been completed. The improvement plan covers a 20-year plan. The study includes looking at environmental analysis, benefits for increase of jobs and income for the area and other economic activity. Currently, 2,590 jobs are associated with the Airport complex and by 2036, with various improvements, this number could grow to over 6,000 jobs. The airport currently generates over $461 million in economic activity. An increase in size and the number of planes landing would significantly increase the economic activity. The extension of the runway also considers the type of aircraft that would frequent the airport. Current improvements that will soon be added to the airport include Mammoth and Taos routes flown by Taos Air, to be added in November and December. Google Palomar Airport Master Plan for more information. Anyone concerned can submit comments.
Candyce Yee from Supervisor Jim Desmond’s Office – A long Supervisor’s meeting was held recently. One major topic was the placement of sexually violent predators, when released, in the San Diego County area. The Supervisors agree that this should be opposed. Supervisor Desmond voted No on requiring vaccine shots for new hires in San Diego County. The Supervisor is in opposition to offshore drilling expansion. He supported a study to bring Heli-hydrants to San Diego to provide water storage for helicopters in aiding fighting fires in the county. Two million dollars has been allocated to help children’s sports teams and the fees required for participation. Small business grants are still available for businesses struggling from COVID related issues.
Jessica Ramirez from U.S. Congressman Mike Levin’s Office – The Congressman has visited the sites of the Orange County oil spill reporting that this is an environmental/ecological/economic issue. A reminder that the Congressman voted to eliminate offshore drilling as part of the Build Back Better Act and the American Oceans Protection Act. The Congressman is pushing for sand replacement along the area beaches to prevent ongoing erosion. The Congressman is Vice Chair for the Committee for Veterans Affairs and is dealing with post 9/11 vets’ resources and assistance. He is also working on the Impact Aide Bill for improvement for funds for schools on federal land as well as the National Authorization Act Bill part of which deals with pay raised for service men and women.
Kaitlyn Elliot-Norgrove, Management Analyst from the City of Vista – A Business Resource Guide is now available on the city web site and the guide will be distributed to business in Vista. The City Council will be discussion the Climate Action Plan at the October 12th Council Meeting. Two point seven million dollars is available for grant applications for small businesses who have suffered COVID losses. The Vista Chamber will have applications available by November 1st and will manage the grants. Three hundred thousand dollars is available for non-profit applications. On October 28th, the city will host a Halloween event in the Center City Parking Lot.
Rachel Beld, CEO of the Vista Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber has a grant to become involved in an internship program for 100 students to work in businesses around the city. Companies interested can contact the Chamber. The Chamber is also involved in a study involving adults going through work transition situations.
The next Government Affairs meeting will be held at The Film Hub, 170 Eucalyptus, on November 4th.