The FAA has taken strong positions on two California airport issues that affect general aviation pilots. In Oceanside, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey agreed with U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa about the importance of keeping Oceanside Municipal Airport open to the public. In a letter to Issa, Blakey reiterated that the airport is under the protection of federal grant obligations. "Because of the important role that this airport plays in the national airport system, the FAA does not anticipate granting any request for release to allow closure of this airport," Blakey said. And in Los Angeles, the FAA told Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) that it needs to resolve federal compliance problems at Van Nuys Airport. For more than six years, AOPA, along with AOPA Airport Support Network volunteer Elliot Sanders, has been working to free up space for piston-engine operators. In a stern letter from the FAA's Airports Division, the agency gave LAWA until February 13 to submit an airport redevelopment plan detailing when LAWA will stop using aviation property for non-aviation uses. LAWA missed two previous deadlines. "We repeat our instructions and advise LAWA that non-aeronautical uses must be eliminated expeditiously because they cannot be justified," the FAA wrote in a letter to LAWA.
February 3, 2006