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POINT MUGU : Supervisors to Weigh Joining Airport Panel

Ventura County leaders will decide today whether to join a governing body that would run a proposed joint military and civilian airfield at the Point Mugu Navy base.

If the Board of Supervisors votes to join four local cities in the proposed joint powers authority, the authority would be instantly activated and could begin planning for the project that has sparked debate countywide.

Since March, 1993, when the Navy first suggested joint use of the airfield, the issue has been studied by the Point Mugu Airfield Investigative Committee, made up of county and city leaders.

Late last year, the committee voted to consider the airport feasible. But since then, preliminary marketing studies have indicated little or no interest by airlines. Also, detailed environmental and land-use studies have yet to be completed.

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“My gut tells me this will work, but we have to make sure it’s financially feasible,” said Supervisor John K. Flynn, one of the airport’s leading proponents.

But Supervisor Maggie Kildee, who represents the Camarillo area, said she would only support joining the authority if Flynn and other board members agree to leave the final decision on the proposed facility to the board, not the authority.

“It would be the only way I would be comfortable supporting the JPA,” Kildee said.

Kildee’s support of the airport came only after analysts studying the proposal said a new satellite-based navigation system could be used to effectively eliminate commercial air traffic over Camarillo. Military flight patterns, however, would not be changed.

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So far, the cities of Ventura, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Thousand Oaks have joined the governing body. The city of Camarillo and the Oxnard Harbor District have not reached a decision.

The board will consider the item at 9 a.m. today at the County Government Center, 800 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura.


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