[Archive Home][Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
"Proposals for Oceanside airport contain few details"
- From: Stephen Irwin <stepheni@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 17 Nov 2007 05:50:51 -0800
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Proposals for Oceanside airport contain few details
By: MARGA KELLOGG
The San Diego (CA) North County Times
OCEANSIDE -- Three developers interested in revamping and managing the
sprawling Oceanside Municipal Airport have submitted proposals to the
city, but the documents offer little to no details on what the airport
would look like or how it would be run.
City officials say that's to be expected at this stage in the process,
but a leader in a local pilots association said this week that he was
disappointed that the proposals, in his view, didn't show more vision
The politically active Oceanside Airport Association has fought for
years to keep the airport open, fending off neighbors' complaints about
noise, as well as concerns from some Oceanside officials that the
airstrip is a drain on city finances.
After years of debate, the city agreed last year to seek a developer to
retool the aging airport, which is just north of Highway 76 near the San
Luis Rey River and against a backdrop of mountains that stretch from
Camp Pendleton to Orange County.
Three companies had stepped forward with proposals when the deadline
passed last month.
After getting a peek at the ideas, Gordon Nesbitt, vice president of the
800-member airport association, said he was not particularly impressed.
"We would just like to see more detail about what the development
concept will be," said Nesbitt. "We really want to see the airport
succeed. It should be a jewel in Oceanside's crown."
Nesbitt blames the city for failing to attract proposals that were more
sweeping. Because the city didn't do that, he said, "what we have are
three proposals that are pretty plain."
City Manager Peter Weiss countered that "vision" is not the selling
point when it comes to selecting an operator for the airport.
"We do not need someone with a vision," Weiss said Thursday. "We need
someone with the financial ability to do what they need to do."
Weiss added that there is already a master plan in place for the airport
that provides a blueprint for its development, somewhat limiting each
developer's ability to really stretch the design.
"The reality is the master plan doesn't provide enough flexibility to do
something unique today," Weiss said. Any change to the master plan would
require the City Council's OK, he added.
What the city wants
The council voted unanimously in May to seek proposals for renovating
and running the 55-acre airport, after voting several months earlier to
keep the city-run facility open for at least another 15 years.
As part of that decision, the council agreed to find a developer that
would upgrade the hangars, offices and other structures on the south
side of the airport and have city staffers look at ways to build houses
or shops, such as a Costco store, on the north end.
Three companies answered the city's call for airport proposals: Los
Angeles-based Airport Property Ventures; Santa Monica-based American
Airports Corp.; and CMTS, a Culver City-based group that put together a
six-company partnership called Airport Operators International LLC.
Weiss said the city plans to interview representatives from the three
firms in December. He said city staff members are planning to recommend
an airport operator to the City Council in January.
"We're going to try to get there," he said of the time line. "It just
depends on the negotiations."
City officials want the developer to agree to a 20- to 30-year lease on
the site and to pay 10 percent of the annual gross revenues from the
airport and its operations to the city, according to the request for
In addition, the city wants the developer to pay the city $740,500 over
12 years to pay off a state loan that was used to build 11 hangars at
the airport, and $486,000 over 15 years to pay off a loan from the
city's general fund.
The city is also asking the developer to operate the airport and
construct improvements on the south side -- including a restaurant,
shops, tie downs and hangars.
On the north side, the developer would be required to add restroom
facilities, security lighting, drainage and runoff upgrades, and
None of the proposals submitted last month meet all of the city's
requirements, but Weiss said that doesn't worry him.
"The biggest issue I'm concerned with is that whoever we end up
negotiating with has the demonstrated experience, the financial ability
to be able to develop an airport or any other project," Weiss said.
"It's no different than picking a bridge designer. There's a systematic
process to evaluate the proposals. We just need to go through that process."
Weiss stressed that all the information in the proposals is preliminary
and subject to negotiation.
Two of the plans outline specific terms for the airport's operation, but
talk about developing the airport in only a general sense.
For example, Airport Property Ventures is pitching a 50-year ground
lease at the airport, a 10-year management agreement and two 10-year
options to extend the lease. The company would commit to a "substantial
investment in new facilities" at the airport.
The proposal also states that the company would pay about $79,000 per
year on the existing state loan, but does not address repayment of the
The American Airports Corp. proposes a 40-year lease agreement with two
five-year extensions. The company says it would build a 2,000- to
3,000-square-foot airport administration building and seek master
lessees to build aircraft storage hangars on the north side of the property.
The company would assume state loan payments of no more than $79,500 a
year and would not repay the city's loan to the airport, its paperwork
to the city states.
Of all the proposals, only CMTS' outlines specific ideas for the
airport's development, including a plan for 35 hangars on the south side
of the airport and 80 "condominium" hangars, which sell and trade like
condominium buildings, on the north side.
Instead of terms, the company offers negotiating points.
C. Lance Barnett, a senior executive with Airport Operators
International LLC, said one benefit of the condominium hangars is that
they bring an owner base to the airport and tap into the city's goal of
becoming a destination city.
He said that the hangars would not open the door to larger airplanes at
the airport and that the company plans to maintain the single- and
twin-engine planes that are now there.
"The area doesn't need another Palomar," he said, referring to
McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad. "Oceanside's market is not as a
competitor to Palomar, but as a complement."
Post your opinion on this story in the CAA General Aviation Forum
Fair Use Notice
This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.html. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
If you have any queries regarding this issue, please Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org