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Failure of Palmdale Airport Frustrates Regional Planning In SoCal

Once the object of grand plans, L.A. county's Palmdale Regional Airport has tried in vain to sustain regular service and ease congestion at LAX. United's pullout in December leaves the future of regionalization in doubt.
March 13, 2009, 12pm PDT | Josh Stephens | @jrstephens310
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"In the most recent effort to get even a modest vision off the ground, United Airlines initiated in May 2007 two daily nonstops to SFO from the rechristened LA/Palmdale Airport (PMD), which had operated from Air Force Plant 42 since 1971. United was the eighth carrier to operate from this rinky-dink terminal amid the Joshua trees, but 18 months later, in December 2008, United cancelled the service. United's departure creates more than an inconvenience for High Desert dwellers. It marks perhaps the most grave setback in a long, frustrating effort to spread Southern California's immense amount of air traffic more evenly across the region."

"More than 300,000 people live in the immediate Palmdale/Lancaster area, with many more in the greater High Desert region. Smaller free-standing cities throughout California, such as Redding, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo, support commercial service. But, lacking major employment centers, the bedroom communities of the Antelope Valley did not generate the business United sought, and would-be passengers from surrounding areas did not materialize."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

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Published on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in California Planning & Development Report
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