The FAA this week refused to withdraw its decision that a 180-foot-tall building being built near Montgomery Field in San Diego is a hazard to air navigation. The agency assured AOPA it would not withdraw its decision until the hazard has been mitigated, despite pressure from the developer, Sunroad Enterprises. The developer has offered to pay for and install new navigation equipment at the airport that would steer pilots away from the building. Even if the FAA were to agree to the proposal, a full environmental impact study would be required to site the ILS system and another one to assess airspace modifications in the entire San Diego area. Such studies take years to complete. AOPA maintains that the only workable solution is to prevent the top two floors of the building from being built. Work on those floors has been halted since October. "AOPA will continue to work with Montgomery Field Airport Support Network volunteer Rick Beach and the FAA to prevent this hazard," said AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn. "We must win this issue because the decision in this case will set a precedent for development around every general aviation airport in San Diego County."
December 8, 2006