In an apparent one-eighty, San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has admitted that the Sunroad building near Montgomery Field must be lowered. Despite a determination of hazard by the FAA and a stop work order by the city last year, developers continued to build beyond the 160-foot limit to 180 feet. The mayor's proposed solution would lower the building to 163 feet (with some equipment on top still extending to 180 feet), move the instrument circling approach to the south end of the field, and create a straight-in approach for Runway 10L. But AOPA says that's not good enough. This week, AOPA Vice President of Airports Bill Dunn spoke with top officials in the FAA's Western Pacific Region, urging them to reject the mayor's proposal and stand by their decision that the building not exceed 160 feet. "We're pleased that the mayor is trying to find a solution, but this isn't it," Dunn said. "One hundred sixty feet is 160 feet. Nothing above that will work because it poses a hazard to pilots." Dunn also explained that moving the circling approach to the south would route aircraft over a residential area and restrict pilots' ability to see the airport.
May 25, 2007