Harcourt Brace Seeking Data on Airport

Times Staff Writer

Harcourt Brace Jovanovich employees know something about airplanes.

HBJ's blue-and-white downtown office building sits just a few blocks south of the air approach to Lindbergh Field. And Shamu and friends entertain visitors at HBJ's Sea World at Mission Bay Park, a good place to watch departing flights.

However, HBJ now wants to learn even more about air traffic at Lindbergh Field.

At HBJ's request, the San Diego law firm of Page, Tucker & Brooks recently asked the San Diego Unified Port District for a host of airport noise reports and documents detailing the city's oft-discussed but never resolved plan to move Lindbergh Field to the outskirts of the city.

HBJ also wants access to documents that describe "alternative uses of airport property should Lindbergh Field be relocated," according to a letter the law firm sent to Port District administrators.

An HBJ spokeswoman would not say why the company wants the information, but Richard Page of Page, Tucker & Brooks suggested that HBJ will use the data and reports to help determine whether "tourism in San Diego and attendance at Sea World will be impacted by the ability of Lindbergh Field to process (increasing numbers of) tourists and conventioneers."

HBJ also is concerned that the "size of the convention center, coupled with the size of the airport, could (inhibit) San Diego's ability to draw really large conventions and an adequate level of tourism," Page said.

HBJ is reserving comment on why it wants the information until after the pile of paper is digested.

It could be that the owner of San Diego's largest tourist attraction might be boning up on the airport situation in order to take a more active role in the community, Page suggested.

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