The County of San Diego is finishing a four-year process to update the 20-year Master Plan for McClellan-Palomar Airport, working with the public, businesses, local cities and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Master Plan is focused on modernizing the airport to current FAA airport design standards, and improving operational efficiency.

The Master Plan and its accompanying Airport Layout Plan — which illustrates the facility improvement on the airfield — is needed to qualify for federal funding and will guide McClellan-Palomar Airport’s development through 2036. The Master Plan process has identified and assessed strategies to meet the airport’s future aviation, safety, facility and operational needs, and developed alternatives to meet those needs over the next 20 years.

The proposed Master Plan Update and its accompanying Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) are available for an extended public review and comment period from Thursday, January 18 to Monday March 19, 2018. The documents are accessible on this website (, and comments can be submitted to

Two meetings to update the public about the proposed Master Plan Update and to collect feedback have been scheduled on January 30th and February 13th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. There will be a presentation with an overview of the proposed potential alternatives, facility improvements and environmental analysis. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask in-depth questions and view exhibits. The meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn Carlsbad: 2725 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad CA 92009. Both meetings will include the same materials, but two meetings are offered to provide flexibility for public attendance. Click here to view the narrated presentation.

County Airports is holding an Open House within the public areas at the airport’s commercial passenger terminal building at 2198 Palomar Airport Road in Carlsbad on Wednesday February 7th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. There won’t be a formal presentation, but it’s an opportunity for the public to walk through and view exhibits related to the existing facilities.

The proposed Master Plan Update is scheduled to be considered by the County Board of Supervisors later this year. For more information about the McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update, subscribe to future announcements.

Documents Available for Public Review

Master Plan Update

McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update

Environmental Documents

McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update – Notice of Availability

McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan Update - Draft PEIR

Hard copies of the Master Plan Update and Draft PEIR can also be viewed at the following locations:

  • McClellan-Palomar Airport Administration - 2192 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA 92011
  • Carlsbad City Library - 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011
  • Georgina Cole Library - 1250 Carlsbad Village Drive, Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • Carlsbad City Library Learning Center - 3368 Eureka Place, Carlsbad, CA 92008
  • San Diego County Library, San Marcos Branch - 2 Civic Center Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069
  • San Diego County Library, Vista Branch - 700 Eucalyptus Avenue, Vista, CA 92084
  • County Airports Administration - 1960 Joe Crosson Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020
  • County Department of Public Works (DPW) Environmental Services Unit, 5510 Overland Avenue,
         4th Floor, San Diego, CA 92123

Public Review Comments


Mail: County of San Diego, Department of Public Works
Attn: Cynthia Curtis
5510 Overland Avenue, Suite 410
San Diego, CA 92123

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Public Outreach

Latest Public Workshop #5, Jan. 30, 2018 - Power Point Presentation Slides

Public involvement is a key component of the Master Plan process. County Airports will be soliciting input from airport users, tenants, travelers, resource agencies, public officials, and residents throughout the planning process and at key stages of the Master Plan’s development. Public workshops and meetings will be held to discuss the Plan’s findings and recommendations.


Palomar Airport Advisory Committee

Ongoing updates on the progress of the Master Plan will be held at regularly scheduled meetings of the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee (PAAC). Information on the committee and its meeting schedule are found here.

1997 Master Plan documents

Board of Supervisors

On December 16, 2015, the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors considered options for the new Master Plan for McClellan-Palomar Airport. The meeting was held a 9 a.m. at 1600 Pacific Highway, Room 310, San Diego, CA. The Board was requested to provide direction on a preferred option for Airport classification for the McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan, subject to the preparation of a Program-Level Environmental Impact Report. The Board directed staff to proceed with the McClellan-Palomar Airport Master Plan focusing on the modified C/D-III classification as the preferred option, subject to the preparation of a Program-Level Environmental Impact Report.  Please see the following links for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is an Airport Master Plan and why is one needed?

    The purpose of the Master Plan is to provide decision-makers a roadmap of the community and airport’s strategic vision for the airport that provides flexible options to meet the long-term needs of the community for the next 20 years. The last Master Plan was developed in 1997, and given the modernization of FAA Design and Safety Standards for airports, it is nearing the end of its useful life. Airport Master Plans consist of a report documenting existing conditions of the airport, a forecast of aviation activity, facility requirements (the airport’s needs based on the forecast and compliance with current FAA Design Standards for airports), development and evaluation of alternatives to meet those needs, and a flexible phasing plan for implementation. It is used as a planning and decision-making tool intended to complement other local and regional plans. Components of the Airport Master Plan are illustrated in an Airport Layout Plan (ALP), described below.

  • What is an Airport Layout Plan and why do we need one?

    An Airport Layout Plan (ALP) graphically depicts planned development at the airport within the 20-year planning period as determined in the Airport Master Plan. Each individual component of the Master Plan is shown on the drawing, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approval of the ALP is required in order to be eligible for federal funding for airport improvements and maintenance under the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program.

  • How often are Airport Master Plans undertaken?

    Based on FAA guidance, Airport Master Plans are recommended to be completed periodically based on the development needs of the airport.

  • Why are you doing this Airport Master Plan?

    As mentioned above, the FAA requires an updated and approved ALP for an airport to be eligible for federal funding. In the years since the airport’s previous ALP and Airport Master Plan were prepared, there have been several changes that necessitate an update. These include updated FAA Design Standards for airport design, transformational changes in aviation, and shifts in the types and levels of activity at the airport.

  • How is the community involved in the planning process?

    The County welcomes community input at all stages of the Airport Master Plan process, and has hosted four public workshops to review development proposals at the City of Carlsbad Faraday Center:

    • Public Workshop #1: February 5, 2014
    • Public Workshop #2: May 7, 2014
    • Public Workshop #3: April 30, 2015
    • Public Workshop #4: February 29, 2016

    Airport management also provides development and operational updates to the community, including the status and findings of the Master Plan, at the Palomar Airport Advisory Committee (PAAC) meetings.  The monthly agendas for PAAC meetings are posted on the County’s website.

    On December 16, 2015, draft findings of the Master Plan were presented to the County Board of Supervisors’ public hearing, and staff was directed to proceed with the environmental evaluation of the preferred development option in a Program-Level Environmental Impact Report (EIR).

    The next opportunity for comment is estimated to begin in late 2017 when the Draft Program EIR and Master Plan are released for 45-day public review period. We are planning to hold a public workshop and make a presentation at the PAAC meeting during the public review process.

    Updates on the progress of the Airport Master Plan and environmental review process will be posted on the County’s website ( To provide feedback or receive notifications of future document releases please see contact information at the link above.

  • Will the Airport Master Plan report be made available to the public?

    The Airport Master Plan will be presented in draft form and include documentation of the existing conditions, forecast of activity, facility requirements (needs), development and evaluation of alternatives to meet those needs, selection of the preferred alternative, and the project phasing plan along with the draft ALP drawing set. Once complete, the Master Plan, ALP drawings, and environmental review document will be considered by the County Board of Supervisors for approval. All draft reports and the final submission will be posted on the County’s website for public review (

  • The County’s Feasibility Study outlined potential changes to the runway; will the Master Plan include a runway extension?

    In 2013, staff presented a completed Feasibility Study for Potential Improvements to the McClellan-Palomar Airport Runway to the County Board of Supervisors, which reviewed whether a runway extension was feasible. The study’s findings are considered in the Master Plan, and the proposed project may include a phased approach to safety and length improvements to the runway.

  • Will there be a noise study as part of the Master Plan?

    The Airport Master Plan report and Program EIR will include a noise impact analysis and figures that graphically depict the existing and future aviation noise footprints that would result from implementation of Master Plan improvements.

  • Who makes the final decision on this project?

    The County Board of Supervisors will ultimately review and consider for approval the final Master Plan document. The FAA, state and federal resource agencies, and state aviation officials will also evaluate the document from a technical standpoint. The ALP will be reviewed by the FAA for approval, and once specific improvements are identified for federal funding and proposed, environmental review shall commence under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

  • When will this process be complete?

    Staff anticipates presenting the Master Plan and associated Program EIR to the County Board of Supervisors for approval in 2018. The timing of implementation/construction of individual elements relies on securing local, state, and/or federal funding. Updates on the Master Plan process are available on the County’s website (