Ridiculous Runway Runaround Is Almost Over

The fumbling construction follies near completion and, mirabile dictu, Runway 28L opened for takeoffs and landings on 5May2016. After nearly ten months, Montgomery Field (no, I will never write the City’s new name for our airport), one of the bizziest G/A airports in the country, has it’s parallel runways once again functioning.
The fact that one of them was closed for that length of time so that Runway 23 could be rebuilt, is another matter. Some bozo thought that rebuilding a runway that is used 5% of the time was a great idea – and, some other bozo thought that shutting down one of the two parallel runways to use it as a taxiway was an even better idea. REALLY? Only a city government once known as “Enron by the Bay” could make such stupidity a reality.
Remember that it took a tad more than 6 weeks to completely rebuild 28R a few years ago. Of course, they hired a construction company that worked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – as they should have this time. We had use of all the taxiways, and we only had 28L in use, since the part of 23 that crosses 28R was rebuilt as well. We made do.
Why all the taxiways were torn up during the 23 reconstruction is a question that should be asked. Why the construction vehicles, early in the project, were allowed to destroy taxiway Golf is another question. Why the City of San Diego, with an entire real estate department and a battery of lawyers, had to hire a contract management firm is another question that begs an answer. Oh, and why the contract management firm’s representative was out of touch for weeks at a time is perhaps one more inquiry that might be made. A query might also be raised over the organization of the entire project – shutting down multiple taxiways, forcing the parallel runway to be used as a taxiway is the closest thing to sheer assholery that I’ve ever encountered. Did anyone put any thought into this project?
And, of course, the project is still not complete. Golf is still torn up from Hotel all the way to Lima and the buildings on the west end of the field. Taxiway Charlie needs to be rebuilt before 23 can be used. Those of us in Flatop and Marigold (the hangar areas served by taxiway Kilo) need to taxi via the west ramp to Foxtrot, then cross Runway 5 (Foxtrot is being partially used by the construction weenies trucks – maybe they’re tearing it up too, so that it will have to be rebuilt), to Hotel, holding short of 5, before traveling down Hotel to either Bravo, and 28L, or Alpha and 28 R. Flatop/Marigold residents have seen more of the airport than just about anyone flying at MYF these days.
Remember, gentle reader, that this project began in June 2015 – yes, that’s approaching a year ago as of this writing. The projected completion date for the entire project was February 2016. In the history of government mismanagement, I’m sure that there have been bigger boondoggles – the California bullet train leaps to mind – but how many have involved interminable takeoff delays at one of the country’s bizziest GA airports?
I guess, then, we should just be delighted that the days of waiting 30 to 45 minutes in order to takeoff – then being chased to Gillespie or other airports when traffic became too congested – are finally over. Or maybe we should not.
Maybe we should start asking questions of our City Council Members as to why such a simple project became such an unbelievable abortion. Maybe we should ask questions of our Mayor about how his real estate department could allow such an abominable situation to persist. Maybe we should question FAA about the way this airport is being run. Maybe.

Posted in Montgomery Field Closure, Rants