California Pilots Protest "Eviction"

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Small-aircraft owners and the businesses who service them say they are being unfairly pushed out of a California airport so more jets can move in. The fracas has erupted at Carlsbad's McClellan-Palomar Airport over developer Palomar Airport Center's plan for a $30 million upgrade of part of the airport. The $30 million may not be the problem -- it's the development that would replace old hangars housing about 100 small aircraft, half a dozen businesses and a historic restaurant with 19 new hangars designed ... not for them. The 100 planes have to move by the end of the month and businesses occupying the space must be out by the end of September. Go team. The 301-member Pacific Coast Flyers, a business owner and a former airline pilot have each filed complaints with the FAA over the evictions. "The fact they've given us eviction notices with no other alternative is our main issue," Matt Goddard, spokesman for the Pacific Coast Flyers, told The San Diego Union-Tribune. Airport Director Peter Drinkwater said the aircraft can move to other airports until an additional 80 tie-down spots are completed in about 18 months. Palomar Airport Center President Richard Sax also suggested pilots pool their money and rent some of the new hangars.