Fleet of new fighter jets coming to MCAS Miramar

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – Starting early next year, a new jet will start flying out of MCAS Miramar.

At this town hall style briefing for community members, Miramar’s Commander, Colonel Chuck Dockery told a group of community members that F-35 fighter jets will be replacing Miramar’s F-18s.

Dockery talked about the new infrastructure and hangars being built for the F-35s and about other operations at the base.

Some community members have had ongoing concerns about the noise of jets from Miramar. Dockery said the F35’s will sound somewhat different, but the decibel levels will remain about the same.

Ron Belanger, a member of an aviation safety group, said he has been concerned about jets flying over residential neighborhoods. In 2008, a military jet crashed into homes in the University City area, killing four people.

Belanger said the military jets are supposed to stick to standard departure routes. When they don’t, he said that deviation causes residents to worry. “If you follow all the rules, everything’s fine,” Belanger said.

However, Marine Captain Matthew Gregory said there is no set prescribed flight path. He said the Federal Aviation Administration has the authority to assign different flight paths, in consideration of weather patterns and air traffic. “The FAA can and will authorize departures out of Miramar that fly directly over University City. There are flights that take them up the 805, there are flights that take them to another bunch of different departures over neighborhoods. There’s no routes in and out of Miramar that do not overfly one neighborhood or another,” Gregory said.

Gregory said it’s important for the community to share a common baseline of information, “and from there the dialogue can happen.”

Categories: Local San Diego News