The Coast News Group

Airport plans get green light to move forward

OCEANSIDE — The City Council approved the Bob Maxwell Memorial Airfield layout plan on Wednesday, allowing airport plans to move forward.

The layout plan serves as a blueprint for future airport development. It is also a first step to gain grants for improvements.

A new airport master plan, which the layout is a key piece, was requested by the FAA prior to providing any further grants.

“We need to get the airport master plan approved to get FAA funding,” Doug Eddow, city real estate manager, said.

Planned airside improvements for flight safety include runway repair, relocation of a service road, and trimming trees and shrubs. Eddie Jones Road will also be relocated and the taxiway will be moved 61 feet south, at a total estimated cost of $876,000.

Landside improvements to ground facilities will be made on the southside, where the terminal and hangars sit, and northside, which will be developed.

Southside improvements include relocating and constructing a two-story 10,000 square feet terminal building, removing 17 dated hangars and replacing them with 29 new hangars, and adding 68 parking spaces. Fuel tanks will also be replaced, and a 2,000 square feet maintenance equipment storage facility will be built.

On the northside, closest to homes, 20 hangars and a taxiway will be added. A fixed base operator area and public viewing area will be developed, and parking will be added, among other improvements.

Landside improvements are estimated at $32 million.

Once approved the layout plan will become part of the new master plan. The airport last updated its master plan in 1994, when it still bared the name Oceanside Municipal Airport.

Airport Property Venture has managed the airport sine 2009. It applied for an $180,000 FAA grant to develop a master plan in 2012.

In 2013 AECOM was hired as a consultant. Today a conceptual draft of the master plan is completed, and the layout plan is done.

Along the way nine stakeholder and public meetings were held.

Layout plans are based on projected medium growth and beyond. Operations are expected to double from 12,000 to 24,300 by 2035. And base aircraft are anticipated to increase from 72 to 90.

The layout plan still needs FAA, Department of Transportation and Division of Aeronautics approval, an environmental impact report and final City Council approval. Environmental reports will cost approximately $287,000. Grants will cover most of the cost. The city will need to pay $28,700. No timeline was shared on how long the approval process would take.