FAA To Oceanside: Hands Off That Airport

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Oceanside Municipal Airport in California must stay open indefinitely, the FAA has told the city. A recent economic study by the city proposed several alternate land uses in 15 to 20 years' time. "The obligation to keep the airport open as an airport does not expire," officials at the FAA's Los Angeles District Office wrote. But city officials said they had never expressed any "formal" intent to close the airport anyway, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Tuesday. The FAA also said the city should move forward with plans to build more hangars on the field. Last year, the city council voted to study what their options would be if the airport closed. At the time, AOPA said the vote was "surprising," given other local efforts to expand airport capacity in the region. "Oceanside's location, adjacent to the I-5 corridor and the Oceanside Marina, makes it a critical part of San Diego County's aviation transportation network," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. AOPA encouraged local pilots to support change in last year's elections, and the new city council has shifted to a pro-airport majority.