May 22, 2008
By AOPA ePublishing staff
After years of contentious debate over the future of Oceanside Municipal, the city council is negotiating with a private company to operate the California airport for as long as 50 years.
In a May 14 vote, the Oceanside City Council agreed to negotiate with Airport Property Ventures of Los Angeles, a company that includes former executives of the agency that runs Los Angeles International Airport, to operate Oceanside Municipal. The company asked for a 50-year lease and promised to spend $21 million on airport improvements over the next 25 years.
“This is the first time in many years that significant development projects are being planned for the airport, and we’re cautiously optimistic that this will be a turning point for its future,” said Bill Dunn, AOPA vice president of local airport advocacy. “But we also need to remember that this is just a first step. A final contract still needs to be negotiated and approved.”
AOPA has fought hard to keep Oceanside open in the face of numerous schemes to close the field and redevelop the land for nonaviation uses. In 2006, airport supporters scored a major victory when AOPA-backed education efforts led to the election of pro-airport council members.
Then in January 2007, the FAA told the city of Oceanside in no uncertain terms that it must keep the airport open in perpetuity. That’s because part of the airport property was acquired with federal funds specifically for airport development, obligating the city to keep the entire airport open and operating indefinitely, even if it accepts no additional federal money.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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