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Brown Field the Site : Major 1988 Air Show Wins City Council OK

August 19, 1986|GREG JOHNSON | Times Staff Writer

An international air show proposed for San Diego in 1988 cleared another hurdle last week when a San Diego City Council committee unanimously recommended that the city lease city-owned land at Brown Field to the air show's backers.

"They didn't see anything objectionable," and the lease proposal is scheduled to be heard by the council on Sept. 8, according to Bill Walsh, a spokesman for Air/Space America.

If council members approve the lease, Air/Space America will pay the city a minimum of $100,000 for each air show it stages on more than 75 acres of city-owned land at Brown Field on Otay Mesa.

The council's Public Facilities and Recreation Committee did not approve, however, the 10-year lease initially requested by Air/Space America, a San Diego-based not-for-profit organization led by former U.S. Rep. Bob Wilson.

Instead, committee members suggested that the city limit the lease to shows proposed in 1988 and 1990, and make a lease extension contingent on "the success of the expositions and the future needs of the airport."

Air/Space America's air show, patterned after successful shows in Paris and Farnborough, England, would be staged every two years beginning in 1988 on a tract just east of the Brown Field administration building. Air/Space America hopes to draw heavy support from U.S.-based aeronautics and space vehicle manufacturers, and from aircraft buyers in the United States and other Pacific Rim countries.

Although the organization would not be permitted to build permanent structures at Brown Field to house exhibits and hospitality suites, it would be required to install permanent water, electrical and telephone utilities, and install portable sewage facilities at an estimated cost of $4 million.

The organization also would have to agree to conduct environmental monitoring to determine the noise and traffic impact generated by the show, which backers have said will draw several hundred thousand people during its 10-day run.

Wilson has said that Air/Space America would pour $17.5 million in site improvements into the now-desolate tract at Brown Field. The air show, which would be the only one of its kind in this country, would feature public shows on weekends but be limited to trade delegations from Pacific Rim countries.

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