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Mcclellan- Palomar Airport

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Submitted By carweisle
Words 1860
Pages 8
Abstract McClellan-Palomar airport located in Carlsbad, CA. is a rapidly expanding enterprise. Having commercial services, plans to branching out to more areas, and a looming runway expansion McClellan-Palomar has become even more of a power player.

KCRQ, CLD, McClellan-Palomar Airport these are the names/ identifiers of the more locally known Carlsbad airport. Located three miles southeast of Carlsbad in San Diego County California and named after Gerald McClellan, a northern San Diego county leader ( McClellan-Palomar Airport is owned by San Diego country, but is primarily used for private aircraft, corporate aircraft, and two commercial lines.
San Diego County chose the site in Carlsbad as the replacement for the Del Mar airport in 1957. Within the next two years McClellan-Palomar Airport was up and running. Throughout the sixties modern renovations were made including a terminal building, a runway expansion, an ILS (instrument landing system), approach lights, and a FAA tower. In the 90’s McClellan-Palomar Airport began offering commercial services to their customers. Recently, (2006- present) the flourishing economy of Carlsbad has driven McClellan-Palomar Airport to take the airport to more updated standards (
Classified by NPIAS as a Primary airport enplaning 35,033 from 2011-2013. As of March 2013 McClellan-Palomar airport has the title of fourth busiest single runway airport in the nation. Operating runway 6 and 24 McClellan-Palomar Airport, utilizes noise abatement procedures, do to the school located across the street and the multitude of subdivisions of that have been developed surrounding the airport. McClellan-Palomar Airport is an important part of the Carlsbad community contributing $108 million/year to the local economy.

McClellan-Palomar Airport’s commercial airlines are; United Express operated by SkyWest Airlines which runs services to Los Angeles and America West Express which runs services to Phoenix. However, McClellan-Palomar Airport is planning an expansion; they are planning to be the main hub for California Pacific Airlines, which intends to begin flights on six routes. The planned destinations are Sacramento (CA), San Jose (CA), Oakland (CA), Las Vegas (NV), Phoenix (AZ), and Cabo San Lucas (
( McClellan-Palomar airport has gone under construction, to modernize, as recent as 2009. Now, wishing to accommodate larger aircraft McClellan- Palomar has proposed a runway extention to both sides 6-24 of its single run way ( McClellan- Palomar plans to operate as a main hub to California Pacific Airline, partial motivation behide this proposition . Although, the Final Feasibility Study is in that does not garuntee its success so let us look at what the airport can acomodate today.
McClellan-Palomar has a 4897 ft. X 150ft.grooved asphalt runway lined with high intensity edge lights. Orientated as 06/ 24, 06 categorized as other than utility runway with a visual approach / 24 categorized as precision instrument runway, both utilize a PAPI-4L as their VGSI on the left side of its respective runway. However, runway 24 has approach lights: MALSR- 1,400 ft medium intensity approach lighting system with runway alignment indicator lights. ( (
McClellan-Palomar airport recently, as of 2009, underwent a 24 million renovation to their terminal. The main focus of this was to update the terminal to a “green” facility. Along with these updates a focus was paid to the North ramp aircraft parking, as well as the automobile parking area.
”… So why did the airport really need this head-to-toe reconstruction and who paid the bill? The big answer is that Carlsbad’s corporate business area surrounding the airport grew rapidly and the need to keep up with that business meant increasing passenger safety and increasing the amenities to keep this business (and the money it pumps into our economy) right here in Carlsbad. Vasquez, McClellan-Palomar’s manager, says, “The facilities were old and outdated. The changing economy of North County drove the need to revamp.” The administrative offices and terminal construction were paid for with county and federal money while the FBOs refurbishing came from their own budget as part of the land lease agreement with the county.” ( “When construction began on the new terminal, the idea to create a green building was the central focus. The terminal was built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards, which is, a green building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council. Recycled materials were used in construction including walls made of rich oak that came from an old barn in northern California. The decking is made from recycled plastics and an energy-saving feature that fits with the “land, sea and air” theme is a terminal building where all windows and doors open up. Vasquez comments, “We wanted to take advantage of our climate and incorporate that into energy-saving features.” For security purposes, the boarding area is completely enclosed but does have an outdoor. Security and passenger safety go hand-in-hand, so the airport security system was upgraded with approximately 50 cameras placed throughout the entire airport that monitor the area. All carpeting is completely recycled and the landscaping was created using native and drought-resistant plants. Technology also plays a role in keeping green with a central environmental computer that regulates lights and air temperatures throughout the airport.” (
McClellan-Palomar airport, being a single runway airport with four piloting schools (Grey Eagle, Pennacle Aviation, ATP, and Coast flight Training) operating onsite, and the third busiest airport in the nation, their need for security based operations alone is a necessity, not to mention location. Security for the terminal is your standard TSA screening process. Passenger and carry-on baggage are screened by TSA personnel, however in 2011 the TSA invested $500,000 in a CT-80 in-line baggage screening machine and equipment upgrades. “While Palomar Airport has the same thorough security as other large commercial airports, it’s done on a smaller scale keeping our airport at a low stress level for our customers, while still providing first class safety” ( For security purposes, the boarding area (sterile area) is completely enclosed but does have an outdoor deck. Security and passenger safety go hand-in-hand, so the airport security system was upgraded with approximately 50 cameras placed throughout the entire airport that monitor the area 24 hours a day. As for the air operations areas (AOA), they consist of the runway 06-24, the taxiways A 1-6 and N 1-3, and the north aircraft parking lot. The area to enter The North aircraft parking lot is sectioned off with a security gate. It allows only those with a passcode access and to obtain clearance you must be registered into SIDA, through which ever business (flight school maintenance dept.) you are seeking access to.
Due to McClellan-Palomar airport being owned by San Diego County instead of the airport having its own annual report, the county compiled one report. One report, for its seven airports (Aqua Caliente, Borrego Valley, Fallbrook Airpark, Gillespie Field, Jacumba Airport, Ocotillo Air Strip, and Ramona Airport) and other interest that they control. With that being said I combed through the annual and picked out the information as best I could without mixing the information from other airports.

Revenue and Expenses

$2.1 million decrease in current and other assets due to: an approximately $900 thousand decrease in accounts receivable attributable to aid received from the Federal Aviation Administration for improvements to the McClellan-Palomar airport, coupled with a $300 thousand decrease in Airport Fund loans receivable, an approximately $300 thousand decrease in Sanitation District Fund accounts receivable due from other government agencies; and, a $1.1 million decrease in pooled cash and investments; offset by a $500 thousand increase in investment earnings. All for a gross revenue of 3.7B for the county, however from an interview with San Diego County Supervisor Bill Horn I learned the airports contribution is approximately 60M. (
Airport Economic, Political, and Social role McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad is a gateway to and from San Diego’s North County. It serves the general aviation community, corporate aircraft, and commercial services. With its proximity to business and recreation, the airport is an important part of the community contributing $108 million annually to the local economy. “McClellan-Palomar Airport is already a very important airport and will be increasingly so. It has the most takeoffs of any airport in San Diego County. The crucial thing that most people don’t know is the very important role that this airport plays in training new pilots in the area. In 2006, it had 202,236 aircraft operations, which is an average 554 per day. Of that, 90 percent is general aviation…” (
“Major corporations and world-class resorts are just minutes from McClellan-Palomar. Some of the finest beaches in San Diego County are close to the airport and offer surfers, swimmers, sun worshipers, balmy weather and beautiful ocean waters most of the year. Oceanside Harbor, with its shops, yachts and fishing boats, is a pleasant place to spend time. Lego-land is two miles west of the airport. La Costa Resort & Spa is just a short drive from McClellan-Palomar, and the Four Seasons Aviara Resort is also nearby.”(
Currently, the County Airports Administration is studying the possibility of extending the runway at McClellan-Palomar Airport, an improvement that could allow safety, revenues and more aircraft to soar. The cost of the project alternatives studied ranges from $48 million and $95 million and would be paid for with local, regional and federal funds, according to the study. But, the additional air traffic from the longest runway extension alternatives has the potential to bring in an added $163.2 million in additional revenues and a $500 million increase in local and state tax collections within 20 years, the study stated. (
Currently at number three of the most used airports in the nation McClellan-Palomar have positioned itself to have an even brighter future. The airline management team has fully utilized their resources, from support of the community to the expansion of its facilities and services. McClellan-Palomar Airport is a gleaming example of proper airline management.

"2008 City Council Candidate Forum." Carlsbad Chambers of Commerce. N.p., 9 Mar. 2008.
AirportIQ 5010. N.p., 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Aug. 2013. .
"Airport & FBO Info for KCRQ MC CLELLAN-PALOMAR CARLSBAD CA." Flight Planning & Flight Tracking. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Aug. 2013.
"Annual Report." County of San Diego Comprehensive Annual Financial Report., 30 June 2012. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
Benson, H. "McClellan-Palomar Airport." | Carlsbad Magazine. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Sept. 2013.
County of San Diego: N.p., 22 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Aug. 2013. .
Fledgling Carlsbad-Based Airline Gets First Aircraft Delivered. N.p., 06 July 2012. Web. 23 Aug. 2013. .
"History & Community." sd county. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Oct. 2013.

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