Advocating for safe aviation in University City and San Diego County

UCCA thanks Chairwoman Kristin Gaspar of the County Board of Supervisors for meeting with representatives of University City Community Association (UCCA) and Citizens Advocating Safe Aviation (CASA) on November 5, 2018, to understand mutual concerns for aviation safety throughout San Diego County.

The group reviewed the standard instrument procedure known as SEAWOLF8 which is designed to keep aircraft departing Miramar from flying over the highly populated areas of University City. When pilots fail to follow the SEAWOLF8 departure procedure, they fly over residential, school, hospital and business areas of University City and unnecessarily put residents, students and workers in harm’s way. In addition, failure to follow procedure puts other aircraft in danger including those arriving and departing San Diego International (Lindbergh Field) and Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (Montgomery Field). 

Ron Belanger, former naval aviator and crash investigator, reviewed the air traffic plan for San Diego County. That plan is known worldwide as one of the most complicated and challenging in the world. Ron also reviewed locations of area schools impacted by air traffic patterns as well as sites of past crashes. (Refer to presentation notes PDF*, link below, for more information and diagrams.)

Supervisor Gaspar was pleased to learn that CASA representatives want MCAS Miramar pilots to follow FAA and DoD mandated standard instrument departure and approach procedures. She was happy to hear that the CASA group is not anti-military and is not advocating that the FAA or the DoD change any procedures. CASA representatives are seeking the supervisor’s help in convincing Miramar pilots to adhere to current procedure.

Specifically, the representatives meeting with Supervisor Gaspar on November 5 asked her to speak on their behalf to MCAS Miramar command about safety concerns; to share safety concerns with the other county supervisors; and to support the responsibility of the San Diego Airport Authority to protect public health and safety surrounding area airports.

Note: Supervisor Gaspar accepted a meeting request from community leaders after hearing community air safety concerns at the September 12, 2018, UCCA meeting.

Meeting summary by Diane Ahern, University City Community Association.

Photo (from left) of Ron Belanger (CASA), Chairwoman Gaspar, Diane Ahern (UCCA) and Barry Bernstein (UCCA president) at the Board of Supervisors office.

*Download the presentation notes in PDF form at

References and additional information: 


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