UCSD economist Richard Carson has an entertaining editorial in a San Diego paper about the errant economics of a new San Diego airport. A highly controversial subject, especially to those of us on the east side of La Jolla over which flights might roar in one new airport scenario, Carson brings some rigor to the rhetoric.
As he rightly points out, this is essentially a pricing problem. It’s not that San Diego doesn’t have an airport, although Lindbergh is admittedly a small, one-runway site, but the bigger issue that it misprices its services such that capacity is over-used by smaller jets, as opposed to bigger commercial carriers.
So, the solution:
The airport authority needs to put a price on
Lindbergh’s truly scarce resource, the limited number of takeoff and
landing slots available in different time periods, if Lindbergh is to
Is this a radical new idea that has not been
carefully thought through? No, Logan Airport in Boston has been given
permission by the FAA and started pricing slots in different time
periods to get the desired number of takeoff and landings. Charging for
slots is the norm at popular European airports and, as a result,
relatively few small planes are used at such airports.