Palomar Airport Expansion: Running from Planes & Helicopters, Blog #8

Searching for a Quiet Home


Rather than discussing County and FAA environmental compliance – as originally planned - today’s article comments on a  citizen suggestion.   Next week, the environmental compliance theme continues.

The citizen suggests:  “If you see planes and an airport when you buy your house and do not like it, go somewhere else.”  I agree.   If there is somewhere else to go.  And if the County is disclosing rather than hiding its plans for its 8 County airports.

Where to Go

In 1999, we moved from Los Angeles to Carlsbad.  First, we looked at the Estancia development South of Palomar Airport Blvd, West of Melrose.  About 2 miles from Palomar.  Stylish Spanish homes.   Nicer than either home we later bought.     

We were prepared to plunk down the wampum for Estancia.   Then we stood on the hill overlooking this new development.  And heard planes fly over repeatedly.   We fled.  We sacrificed a very nice home to skip the noise.   Good for us.  Bad for the developer and Estancia homeowners wanting to maintain property values and sell in the future.

We bought 5 miles South of Palomar in La Costa Valley, off Calle Barcelona.   The airport noise seemed far less.  Until  2005.   Then, more planes, more noise. 

We fled again, this time to Lake San Marcos, 5 miles east of Palomar.   Again, the planes and helicopters followed.  In a few years, we’ll move again.  Time to downsize from a two-story to a one-story.    The magic question: where can we go to minimize airport noise?

Relying to Your Detriment on County Division of Airports Disclosures

Let’s start the search.  First, identify the “quiet” areas in the County.  Not an easy task.

Besides San Diego International Airport, which is operated by the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, there are 11 civilian airports in the County.   They are: McClellan-Palomar, Montgomery Field, Gillepsie Field, Brown Field Municipal, Ramona, Oceanside Municipal, Fallbrook Community, Borrego Valley, Agua Caliente, Ocotillo, and Jacumba.    Add in the military aircraft from Camp Pendleton and Miramar.

Now target your new neighborhood.   Say Carlsbad.  Find quiet Carlsbad.  How? Stand at a house, look up, wait a few hours on different days, and count the planes.   Or, snuggle (women) or sink (men) into your favorite armchair and visit the website www.lochard.com.  Select McClellan-Palomar.  This website allows you to track flights during different times.  You can see aircraft flight tracks and altitudes as planes take off from Palomar, fly over your new crib, and as they land.

Comfortable with the noise level?  Now, go to the County records to see what future growth the County predicts.  What do you find?  As noted in Blog #4 published on November 12, 2012, you find that for 33 years the County has promised to operate Palomar as a limited use airport in accordance with Carlsbad Conditional Use Permit 172.   In other words, a promise not to place regularly scheduled large commercial aircraft at Palomar flying to many cities.

So you buy.  You’ve done your diligent research.   Do you have to move again because the County wants to break its promise that it has made to several hundred thousand homeowners near the airport for more than thirty years?

Balancing the Rights of Homeowners, the Traveling Public, and Business

My wife and I fly once or twice a year.  Our daughter flies from San Francisco a few times a year.  We understand the appeal of using Palomar.  

But why do several hundred thousand homeowners and apartment dwellers near Palomar have to daily sacrifice for travelers who use the airport a few times a year?   Should homeowners sacrifice peace of mind and property values for the occasional traveler?

But won’t Carlsbad corporate businesses suffer if Palomar does not expand?  Why?  Corporate jets typically carry fewer than 20 people.  Why does Palomar need turbojets carrying 80 passengers and crew as is now proposed?

Next Week Blog 9: Palomar Airport Expansion: More County & FAA Environmental Tricks

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

stanley fauvenbach December 11, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Where do you get your data from?? First off, There are many six passenger corporate aircraft that are far louder than the 80 passenger commercial jet that you talk about. Second, According to the 2010 census, the total population of San Marcos, Vista and Carlsbad combined was less than 300,000 people. I’m guessing the “Palomar” area contains a fraction of what you stated. Third, The amount of air traffic at Palomar in 2005 was actually one third LESS than it was in 1999. I happen to live about one mile to the east of your current residence and I play golf at Lake San Marcos regularly, and I cannot recall hearing any aircraft fly overhead... ever. It took about three minutes of searching the web to find the census data and the landing and takeoff operations data for Palomar. I suggest you try a little research yourself next time. I guess my biggest beef with this article is this new American attitude of “It’s not my fault” that you seem to embrace. People need to start taking responsibility for their actions.... such as buying a home near a commercial airport. Good luck in your non-factual blogging.
Raymond Bender December 11, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Stan – Though I disagree with your points as noted below, I welcome comments from supporters and opponents of Palomar. The County should fully disclose its Palomar plans. The people should speak. And the Carlsbad City Council and County Board of Supervisors should decide. Your Point 1: "Corporate jets can be louder." I agree. Never said otherwise. Your Point 2:" Only 300,000 people in Carlsbad, San Marcos, and Vista". I don’t see the disagreement. I said several hundred thousand can be affected by Palomar noise. You concede 300,000 people in San Marcos, Vista, and Carlsbad. You omit Encinitas. I know Encinitas homeowners upset with Palomar. Remember, planes leaving Palomar are over all these cities within a few minutes. Your Point 3: "Palomar traffic less in 2005 than in 1999". I agree. See my Blog #4 in which I noted 1999 operations were 291,000 and current operations are about 130,000. These numbers simply show that Palomar does not need to extend its runway. Also, you ignored passenger increases. “Operations” only reflect the number of planes. Only 10,000 large commercial carrier operations (plane take offs and arrivals) can handle 800,000 passengers annualy at 80 persons per plane. Last Point: “It’s not my fault.” Sorry, I did not understand this point. I simply said that the County should live up to its more than 30 years of promises related to Palomar expansion. Ray Bender


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »