San Diego

Accessibility Tools

Brown Field Frequently Asked Questions

What are the airport hours of operation?
The airport is open for aircraft takeoffs and landings 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The control tower is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. After hours, Brown Field is an uncontrolled airport.

How do planes land and takeoff when the control tower is closed?
When the control tower is closed, pilots transmit their intentions on a common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF).

Can you tell the airplanes to stop flying over my house?
The airport has no control over aircraft in flight. That authority lies with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

What is the largest aircraft that can fly out of Brown Field?
There are weight restrictions due to the pavement strength of the runways and taxiways. The restrictions are based on wheel configurations, and are: 175,000 lbs. for dual-tandem, 110,000 lbs. for dual, and 80,000 lbs. for single. For example, a Gulfstream IV, which is a large corporate jet, has a dual gear configuration and weighs 73,000 lbs. The largest aircraft that routinely uses Brown Field is a C-130 military transport.

I notice a lot of military aircraft using Brown Field. Can you tell them not to fly out of Brown Field, and use a military airfield instead?

The airport is required, by virtue of the Quit Claim Deed and FAA Grant Assurances, to make Brown Field available to aircraft operated by the government, including the military, at all times.

I would like to rent a hangar at Brown Field to store my plane. Who do I need to talk to?
Contact one of the Fixed Base Operators for availability and fees.

I am flying back to the U.S. from Mexico and need to clear U.S. Customs. Can I do that at Brown Field?
Yes, Brown Field is a Landing Rights Airport. Application for permission to land must be submitted in advance to U.S. Customs. At least one hour advance notice of arrival is required. The phone number for the U.S. Customs office at Brown Field is 619-661-3294

Are there any noise restrictions at Brown Field?
There are no mandatory noise restrictions or procedures. Pilots are reminded that there are noise sensitive areas .5 mile northwest, 1 mile west, and 2 miles north of the airport.

Can the airport put mandatory noise restrictions or procedures in place?

The Airport Noise and Capacity Act of 1990 (ANCA) makes any airport use restriction subject to approval from the FAA. The FAA may approve a restriction if six statutory conditions are supported by substantial evidence. Those conditions are:

  1. The restriction is reasonable, nonarbitrary, and nondiscriminatory;
  2. The restriction does not create an undue burden on interstate or foreign commerce;
  3. The restriction is not inconsistent with maintaining the safe and efficient use of navigable airspace;
  4. The restriction does not conflict with a law or regulation of the United States;
  5. An adequate opportunity has been provided for public comment on the restriction; and
  6. The restriction does not create an undue burden on the national aviation system.

Lindbergh Field has a curfew. How are they allowed to have a curfew?

San Diego International Airport had a departure curfew in place prior to ANCA. Restrictions in effect on Oct. 1, 1990, are "grandfathered" and are not subject to the requirements of ANCA.


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