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    Welcome to the Ambassablog! We're the front-line employee bloggers of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority and participants in the Airport Authority's Goodwill Ambassador Program.

    Here you'll find our continually updated posts about life at historic San Diego International Airport (Lindbergh Field).

    Take a look around, and Email us if there's something you'd like to see added to the Ambassablog or covered in future posts.
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    For questions or information about this blog and other social media tools used by San Diego International Airport, contact:
    Steven Shultz, M.S.
    Deputy Director, Public & Community Relations /
    San Diego County Regional Airport Authority: sshultz@san.org

Airport Development Plan: Looking Ahead at San Diego International Airport

As shown in the image above (click on image to see it bigger), beyond Terminal 1 – stretching along North Harbor Drive toward downtown and Laurel Street – we have more area to work with. The acquisition of the former Teledyne-Ryan property within the airport footprint gives us some land to pursue our commitments to diversifying non-airline revenue and creating new options to meet passenger needs.

As shown in the image above (click on image to see it bigger), beyond Terminal 1 – stretching along North Harbor Drive toward downtown and Laurel Street – we have more area to work with. 

With great fanfare, the airport opened its much-heralded Green Build to “oohs” and “ahs”— on time and under budget. It’s been the talk of the town since, as passengers experience the variety of modern conveniences, integrated artwork, and local, national and international food and retail offerings.

But at the Airport Authority, our work to keep the ball of progress rolling never ends. As we celebrate the new, questions arise about what we’ll do with the old. Never fear: airport planners are on the beat!

While it has served the traveling public well, Terminal 1 was built in the 1960s. The time has come to envision replacing this aging infrastructure with something better-suited to serve 21st-century air passengers.

The acquisition of the former Teledyne-Ryan property within the airport footprint gives us some land to pursue our commitments to diversifying non-airline revenue and creating new options to meet passenger needs.

edThis exciting realm of possibilities is part of the Airport Development Plan, or ADP. You’ll be hearing a lot about it in the coming years, just as you’ve grown familiar with the Authority’s other planning efforts, like The Green Build and North Side Development.

The ADP represents a unique opportunity in the life of the airport to influence its future direction. Therefore, we are encouraging the public and all our stakeholders to be involved in the ADP process. To keep abreast of this effort, check out some frequently asked questions about the project and some general information about it here: www.sanplan.com.

The airport at 85

85th

Today is the 85th anniversary of the opening of San Diego International Airport.

85 years covers a lot of history – from its humble beginnings as the first federally certified airfield, dedicated in honor of famed aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, to the completion of the innovative and modern Green Build expansion project last week.

What a remarkable transformation. Happy 85th Birthday, SAN!

mary

Alaska Airlines’ Best-Kept San Diego Secret

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California Wine Country — less than two hours away from San Diego, thanks to Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air.

Did you know that Alaska Airlines operates a daily flight from San Diego to the California wine country?

I recently took the flight for a four-day weekend. It’s operated by Alaska’s regional partner, Horizon Air, and is served by a Bombardier Q400. That’s a modern turboprop aircraft which seats close to 80 people, with 2 seats on each side of the aisle.

plane

Charles_M._Schulz_-_Sonoma_County_Airport_(logo)

The mid-morning flight from SDIA was smooth and congenial. There was a snack and a complimentary glass of wine (or craft beer if you prefer) to ensure my holiday got off to a good start.

The flight took less than two hours and arrived at Charles M. Schulz–Sonoma County Airport just in time for lunch. Having skirted the larger airports, I missed all the hassle and cost of trying to transverse the busy Bay Area. Instead I stepped off the plane and into the bright Sonoma sunshine, with only a short drive to the nearest vineyard.

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The Girl & the Fig restaurant in Sonoma Plaza.

It was a delightful four days—including oysters in the coastal hamlet of Point Reyes Station, Russian River wine tastings, and a delightful dinner at the Girl & the Fig restaurant on the Sonoma Plaza.

On my way out of Sonoma, I stopped by the outdoor patio of the airport’s Sky Lounge and savored one last glass of chardonnay. Then I walked the short distance to my return flight and was off. The late afternoon flight arrived in San Diego just in time to see the sun set.

Ahh… here’s to the good life.NewAnnBlogPic

Check out this Alaska Airlines flight the next time you have a hankering for the wine country! Alaska Airlines is online at:  http://www.alaskaair.com.  And you can book your flight using the AIrport Authority’s online route map.

Waves of Appreciation

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Left to right, Airport Authority volunteers Naty, Kim, Susie, and Ryan.

On November 11, 2012, Airport Authority employees donated their time and effort toward a volunteer event sponsored by “Waves of Appreciation,” an organization created by Pepperdine University alumni. The paramount goal is to give back and show gratitude to  service men and women as they travel home for the holidays to see their loved-ones.

Approximately 15 Authority employees joined a larger group of volunteers for an afternoon of stuffing 3,500 goody bags of nonperishable food items to be distributed at San Diego International Airport.

Waves of Appreciation partnered with the United Services Organization (USO) at SDIA for the bag distribution, which took place prior to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The bags helped sustain many of the young service members who might have otherwise traveled hungry during the holidays.

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And the USO located at SDIA has bragging rights! Ours is the only USO in the United States that distributes these bags of delectable delights ever year. So kudos to the USO and Airport Authority volunteers — way to exhibit that Community Strategy!*

* The Airport Authority’s Community Strategy is “to be a trusted and highly responsive regional agency.”

 

More than just SDIA!

 

Brown Field Municipal Airport in southern San Diego County, near the border with Mexico, is one of ten General Aviation airports in the county.

Have you ever wondered why we’re called a county regional airport authority, instead of, say, the San Diego International Airport Authority?  A lot of people mistakenly believe that we’re an arm of San Diego’s county government because of our name, but that’s not the case. So what’s the reason for our name? It’s been a while since the Ambassablog delved into this, so it seems time for a refresher—and an expanded lesson.

While the Airport Authority operates just one airport, SDIA, we were created by the state with two other mandated functions:  to serve as the regional aviation planning coordinator for the county and to serve as the county airport land use commission.

The latter responsibility is what makes up my job – doing land use compatibility planning for other airports in the county through their adopted Airport Land Use Compatibility Plans( ALUCPs).  I also contributed to the Regional Aviation Strategic Plan (RASP) adopted by the Airport Authority last year.  It evaluated several of these airports for ways to optimize the regional aviation system.

Have you ever seen Fallbrook Community Airpark? Here it is.

So what are those other airports?  There is only one other commercial service airport in the county, McClellan-Palomar in Carlsbad.  Both it and SDIA each also has a general aviation component.  The 10 other public-use airports in the county are strictly for GA:

But the question is often asked, “What exactly is general aviation?”

Ever wonder how your GPS gets its mapping data?  Or how our largely rural international border is monitored?  Or even more basic: how do they maintain many of the massive farm fields that produce our food and nursery plants?

All of these functions and more are largely handled through GA airports! Here are just some of the vital roles handled through these facilities:

  • Emergency preparedness and response, medical transport, and search & rescue missions
  • Aerial firefighting
  • Law enforcement, customs, and homeland/border security
  • Emergency flight diversion
  • Remote community and wilderness access (e.g., islands and reservations)
  • Charter passenger services (e.g., tours, sports and music events)
  • Mail/package delivery and air cargo
  • Corporate transportation
  • Flight instruction
  • Agricultural crop-dusting support
  • Aerial surveying
  • Oil and mineral exploration
  • Utility/pipeline monitoring and inspection
  • Aviation manufacturing, distribution, and maintenance industries
  • Aerospace engineering and research
  • Low-orbit space launch and landing
  • Special public events (e.g., air shows, skydiving)

Ramona Airport.

Whew!  That’s quite a list.  Most people rarely think about GA airports, but they really contribute to our wellbeing.  Life without them would be a lot harder for sure.

So the next time you think about flying, consider that it’s more than just commercial airlines ferrying passengers.  GA airports enhance our daily lives in many ways, so we’re proud to be a County Regional Airport Authority, planning to protect these vital assets in the San Diego region.

San Diego County’s 10 GA airports are part of a network of nearly 3,000 general aviation airports across the country, making their numbers far greater than the commercial service airports with which the flying public is better acquainted.

SDIA has done a good job spreading the word about the economic benefits of our airport, summed up in the slogan “Airports Fuel Regional Economies.”   But GA airports are also critically important to the economic vitality of the regions they serve—far beyond just the recreational pilots and passengers who use them.

 

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The Day a Dream Came True at SDIA

By Guest Ambassablogger Cynthia of the Airport Authority’s Marketing & Communications Division 

You may have heard the news or been one of the eager watchers here at the airport on March 12 when the new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner flew into town. Boeing brought the aircraft in for a personal visit with those folks who helped build her. If you were not one of those special few, you will have a chance to see the Dreamliner beginning in December, when Japan Airlines starts nonstop flights between San Diego and Tokyo, Japan. Initial service will be four times a week, with daily service scheduled to begin in March 2013.

I watched the 787’s approach from the airports’ Operations Duty Managers Office. Her approach reminded me of watching a graceful ballerina during her final movements of a performance. The pilot touched down with a gentle landing and was rewarded with a round of applause — which I’m sure he was oblivious to. It was truly a treat to watch this aircraft maneuver across the runway and park in her overnight spot at Landmark Aviation.

The 787’s got big windows!

Here are a few specs on the new Dreamliner so you can impress your friends or be prepared for your next round of trivia:

  • The 787-8 will use 20% less fuel than the Boeing 767 it is designed to replace.
  • It has a base passenger configuration of 224 seats, but airlines are configuring the aircraft with as few as 186 seats and as many as 240 seats, depending on the type of service they are providing.
  • Its range is from 5,500 – 7,200 nautical miles, depending on the amount of passengers and cargo carried.
  • It is 186 feet long and 56 feet high with a wingspan of 197’3” and has a cruise speed of Mach 0.85.
  • The 787-8 has a larger sister that will be available in 2015. She has similar fuel economy, is 20 feet longer, seats 259 passengers in a standard configuration and can carry a greater payload over the same distances as the 787-8.

If you’re like me and always wanted to visit Asia, a nonstop flight to Tokyo’s Narita Airport, with its hub operations connecting to many Asian destinations, could be the first step in getting there. It’s time to start saving for the trip. Now where did I put that piggy bank?

Spring has sprung — get out the hoe!

Kelly 'killing' the lawn.

Organic edibles.

The Airport Authority has its share of home gardeners, from sunflowers to heirloom tomatoes to jalapeño peppers.  But one of our own does it in a big way—and it’s hit the local press.

Rainwater collection system.

One of our technology gurus not only has all of his gears turning but actually has two green thumbs.  Kelly in the Airport Authority’s Information Technology Department and his wife, Janet, decided to convert their yard into an edible garden two years ago, and they haven’t looked back. Together they spent the better part of 2009 organically “killing” their lawn by depriving it of water, spraying it with vinegar, and cutting it super short.  They then covered it with cardboard, water and 14 cubic yards of mulch, letting it compost for the organic edibles to follow.

Janet admits that “it looked like the dark side of the moon for nine months or so.”    Kelly says that Janet brings the passion for saving the planet but that he seems to have a natural affinity for plants.

Nature's bounty.

Now, arugula, carrots, chives, green rhubarb, lima beans, radishes, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, kale, bok choy, celery, asparagus, squash and tomatoes all tumble out of raised beds or climb stakes and trellises.  Passion fruit drops off vines that run along the garden’s edge (vines that are 20 feet long and 5 feet high).  Blueberries and lemons flourish on bushes and trees.

Compost is amended with worm castings and rain gutters have been added to collect water from those rare San Diego rain showers.   The latest addition is a fortified trellis engineered by Kelly (it’s that geek thing coming through again…) that can support all of the weight of the tomatoes.

A yard transformed.

Kelly and Janet share ideas with other local enthusiasts through such organizations as San Diego Roots Sustainable Food Project and Victory Gardens San Diego.  If you are interested in learning more about Kelly’s gardening  feats,  check out the cover story in the Sep 2011 issue of the San Diego Reader.

Meanwhile, bring on those tomatoes, Kelly!

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