A few months ago, my friend Brett, who is an Air Traffic Controller in Palm Springs, announced that the Radar system will be moving down to San Diego. I said to him, "What does that mean?"
The Terminal Radar Approach Control, or TRACON, guides airplanes within 50 to 75 miles of an airport. The TRACON for the Palm Springs Airport was scheduled to be relocated to Miramar, which is 14 miles north of San Diego, on June 5th. The Miramar TRACON is the busiest system in the world, guiding in more than 2.1 million planes per year. Palm Springs International brings in about 1.5 million visitors to the area every year.
What does this mean for the general public? Having a partner who is a private pilot, I asked him what the implications be by having the TRACON move to Miramar. His concern as a pilot is the safety issue. Because of the mountains that surround Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley, there many different weather issues to contend with when landing a plane. An air traffic controller in San Diego may not be familiar with the Palm Springs terrain and the wind patterns. Also, because of the amount of air traffic that MiraMar TRACON handles, taking on the burden of the Palm Springs air traffic might be too much. The reason for the FAA moving TRACON to Miramar is to save money and to increase efficiency.
As a traveling airplane passenger, I want to know that the people responsible for guiding the airplanes safely to their destinations are right there at the airport, not in a location 150 miles away. Some State & Federal legislators also agreed, and postponed the delay.
Representatives Mary Bono & Barbara Boxer, as well as Senator Dianne Feinstein, drafted legislation to delay the move of TRACON to Miramar. They sited that further study is needed for this move, and that the safety of the American public should come first. I will be writing to my representatives and let them know what a great job they did in this matter, and I hope they can convince the FAA to keep TRACON here in the Desert.
The legislation is only temporary, but at least I know that when I fly, there is someone close is looking out for all of us.
Make it a great day,
Harold Watts, Lyle Realtors
Be sure to check out my website, http://www.GreetingsFromPalmSprings.com for the latest Palm Springs real estate information.