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George Air Base as Site for Airport

Not mentioned in the article on the search for a new regional airport for Orange County (July 23) were the repeated requests by members of the site-selection group to consider George Air Force Base near Victorville as an option.

George, like Norton Air Force Base, is scheduled for closure by the military and could be used as a civilian airport if high-speed rail access is provided. High-speed rail is being contemplated for a Las Vegas-to-Orange County route and also from Irvine to Riverside. I hope the Airport Site Coalition is not running out of money to study additional sites like George because their mandate runs until October. George could also be used to transfer the Marine’s mission from El Toro to George, thus opening up El Toro as a possible civilian-use airport and with a quieter noise profile than it has now with the military jets.

It should also be noted that the reason for the high consideration given to Potrero Los Pinos is that parameters such as flora and fauna and national considerations were given very low weight by the coalition. This is natural, given the mission of the coalition to find a new airport, but it ignores the fact that the site is in a national forest--which is supposed to be protected from urban infringement.

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Overall, the best site will probably be Norton, because the people there actually want an airport, believe it or not.

JAN D. VANDERSLOOT

Newport Beach


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