Avalon : Airport Redesignation

The City Council has agreed to send a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration in support of the Airport-in-the-Sky's effort to be redesignated as a commercial airport.

However, the council said it is still interested in a new sea-level airport at Pebbly Beach just outside the city limits.

Paul Moritz, manager of the Airport-in-the-Sky, said his facility needs to change its designation from a general aviation to commercial airport to qualify for federal money to resurface its runway. He said a letter from the City Council would help his effort.

The city, along with Los Angeles County, is seeking federal money to build a commuter airport closer to Avalon. Airport-in-the-Sky--owned by the Santa Catalina Conservancy, a nonprofit foundation that maintains most of Catalina Island as a natural preserve--is on a 1,600-foot hilltop half an hour's drive from Avalon.

City officials say they want the sea-level airport because the Airport-in-the-Sky has a poor runway, is frequently closed because of fog and has limited hours of operation.

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