Acrimony that had existed since a jet FBO expansion project took away existing aircraft tiedowns and small hangars was patched up recently with the start of construction on a new tiedown area.
Some of the 90 pilots evicted had found other space at the airport, the North County Times reported, but some had to move to airports that were a 30- to 45-minute drive away. AOPA had helped local pilots file a formal complaint (by law, the association couldn't be a direct party to the complaint) with the FAA, but the agency rejected the pilots' claims that they were being unfairly evicted last July. The FAA did, however, "strongly encourage" the airport sponsor to develop additional aircraft parking facilities.
The new tiedown area, capable of accommodating more than 130 airplanes, will sit atop 10 feet of dirt covering a huge oil/water separator, an underground tank big enough to drive a semi-trailer truck into. County and FAA funding covers much of the total $6.7 million project.
The groundbreaking was attended by a number of AOPA Airport Support Network volunteers as well as representatives of the California Pilots Association, Community Airfields Association of San Diego, Oceanside Airport Association, Carlsbad Airport Association, and Palomar Airport Pilots Association.
November 23, 2005