CARLSBAD — A Carlsbad-based commercial airline company will not be taking off on April 1, according to San Diego County officials.
Olivier Brackett, airport manager of the McClellan-Palomar Airport, said California Pacific Airlines is not scheduled to begin operations this spring. His comments came during last week’s McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan update public meeting when a resident asked if CP Air will add to the noise pollution plaguing residents.
CP Air during a shareholders meeting last year announced a partnership with SkyValue Airways to begin service from Carlsbad on April 1. CP Air founder and owner Ted Vallas, 96, said it was a “turnkey situation.”
But San Diego County rebuts CP Air’s claims it is ready to fly. CP Air submitted an application to the county “near the end of 2017,” although the application was not complete and the airline said it would submit a revised copy in “the next several weeks,” according to an email from Jessica Northrup, communication officer for the county’s land use and environmental group. She said the county is still waiting for the application.
In addition, the county has not received any applications or other information regarding SkyValue Airways, she added.
“We understand CPA (sic) is working on the approvals required by the Federal Department of Transportation,” Northrup said. “CPA can better answer questions regarding its timeline. Once County Airports (sic) has received a complete application, and accepted it, we will determine the level of environmental review that would be needed for a lease to be considered. The level of review and associated timeline would depend on the size of operation CPA proposes.”
An email left with CP Air Chief Operating Office Paul Hook seeking comment was not returned.
During the November 2017 meeting, Hook said the airline is fully certified and the purchase of SkyValue provides the authority to conduct flights. He said $500,000 will be invested into promoting the airlines routes from Carlsbad to Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Jose, Oakland, Sacramento and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Vallas, meanwhile, has railed against the county in the past saying his airline has had permits from 2010-2012.
He also held a press conference in 2016 announcing the company’s intentions to start commercial flights. However, a county representative at the press conference said the airline did not have the proper applications, permits and environmental impact report (EIR) to being operations.
Currently, the only commercial operator is Cal Jet Elite Air, which conducts just two round-trip daily flights to Las Vegas.
As for residents, during the master plan update meeting they railed against the noise and flight paths of aircraft. The county stressed those concerns are under jurisdiction of the Federal Aviation Administration.
Steve Puterski covers Carlsbad and Vista. For tips or story ideas, contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @StevePuterski.