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Division Description

The Airports Division, part of the Real Estate Assets Department (READ), is responsible for operating two general aviation airports, Montgomery Field and Brown Field, within the City of San Diego. General aviation includes all aviation activities except scheduled airline and military flights. The two airports support a significant portion of the San Diego region's total annual flight operations, and can accommodate a variety of general aviation aircraft. Aviation lessees include: Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) that provide fuel, aircraft maintenance and storage facilities; flight schools; San Diego Fire-Rescue helicopter operations; San Diego Police Air Support Unit; and several hundred individual aircraft owners. The majority of the Airports' revenues are derived from non-aviation lessees that include: a hotel, business park, restaurants, Fire Station 43, City Field Engineering, U.S. Border Patrol, office space tenants and other individual lessees. City staff has the responsibility of maintaining the airports in conformance with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations and guidelines, and administering the various revenue-producing leases.

Mission Statement

To operate, maintain, and develop Montgomery and Brown Field Airports to meet the general aviation needs of the San Diego region in a safe, efficient, economically self-sufficient, environmentally-sensitive, and professional manner in accordance with federal, State, and local regulations; the Airports will provide access to the National Air Transportation System while respecting the concerns of the community and stakeholders.

Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Ensure City Airports are operated safely and efficiently, and that airport facilities are constructed and maintained in accordance with applicable rules and regulations.

It is necessary to maintain the airport runways, taxiways, lighting, navigational aids, obstruction clearances, and other airport components in good condition to meet the level of safety required by federal regulations. Maintaining a minimum level of safety is a requirement of eligibility for federal grants. The Division will move toward accomplishing this goal by focusing on the following objective:

  • Maintain the Airports as safe and reliable components of the Regional and National Air Transportation Systems in conformance with all applicable federal, state, and local regulations.

Goal 2: Develop the City Airports to be financially self-sufficient, maximize aviation uses, create economic activity, and meet the general aviation needs of the region.

As an enterprise fund, it is the goal of the Airports Division to have sufficient revenues to operate independently of the City's General Fund. Federal regulations require the airport operator to spend its revenues on the maintenance and upkeep of the airport. By creating economic activity and maximizing aviation uses, the Division can generate the revenues necessary to meet the aviation needs of the region and remain self-sufficient. The Division will move toward accomplishing this goal by focusing on the following objectives:

  • Maintain the Airports as a self-sufficient, economically-viable enterprise.
  • Provide for the needs of general aviation and provide conditions for viable aviation businesses.
  • Provide a facility that offers necessary services to support airport business, local area business, and visitors at reasonable prices.

Goal 3: Provide highly-trained professional staff to promote a climate of trust and foster positive relationships with tenants, users, business interests, the community, and regulatory agencies.

Key airport staff members need to interact on a daily basis with the FAA, CALTRANS Division of Aeronautics, airport users, tenants, and members of the community. It is necessary that staff have a working knowledge of, and proficiency in, the application of federal regulations so they can be viewed as knowledgeable professionals in their field. A close and cooperative relationship with the Airports Advisory Committee involves airport users and the nearby communities in the operation of the airport, and enhances dialogue among the different stakeholders. The Division will move toward accomplishing this goal by focusing on the following objectives:

  • Involve the Airports Advisory Committee, users, residents, and other beneficiaries in the operation, utilization and development of the Airports.
  • Recruit and retain experienced professionals versed in airport management and provide training to maintain readiness.

Goal 4: Be responsive to citizen complaints and encourage pilots to practice a good neighbor policy.

A dedicated Noise Abatement Officer responds to citizen complaints, enforces airport noise rules established by the City Council, provides noise abatement information to pilots, and participates in local planning group meetings. This effort has been shown to reduce community opposition to airport operations. The Division will move toward accomplishing this goal by focusing on the following objective:

  • Minimize the negative impacts of the Airports' operations.