New Carlsbad Airline Grounded, Awaiting FAA Approval

California Pacific Airlines, scheduled to launch last year, is still grounded

By Consumer Bob and R. Stickney
|  Sunday, Feb 17, 2013  |  Updated 7:27 AM PDT
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McClellan-Palomar Airport Opens 2008


Ted Vallas, 91, planned to launch California Pacific Airlines in October 2012. At the time, he admitted he may be outlived by his dream.

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Will California Pacific Airlines Ever Take Off?

Officials with California Pacific Airlines are still struggling to get approval from federal officials for the airline that was supposed to start flying out of McClellan-Palomar Airport last year. For now, the North County airline remains grounded. NBC 7's Consumer Bob reports.

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Are you looking for a new way to get out of town? How about the first San Diego based airline in more than 25 years going back to PSA. But there's a catch: the airline won't fly out of Lindbergh Field. ConsumerBob talks with businessman Ted Vallas, Callaway Golf CFO Brad Holiday, traveler Drew Gunderson and Debra Rosen with the SD North Chamber of Commerce.
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The clock is ticking as officials with California Pacific Airlines struggle to get approval from federal officials.

The new airline that was supposed to start flying out of San diego's McClellan - Palomar Airport last year is still grounded.

The new airline was scheduled to launch with two 70-passenger jets offering flights to the Bay Area, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix and Cabo San Lucas.

Now the airline must be approved by federal authorities by Feb. 25, a deadline few think it will make.

"The holdup is getting the documentation that the FAA requires telling you how you're going to train, how you're going to operate the airplane in line with what their inspector requires of them," said retired airline captain Ron Mackenzie.

That includes proving to the FAA and Department of Transportation, that your airplane has enough room to stop in case of emergency.

One report says the McClellan-Palomar Airport runway simply isn't long enough for California Pacific's 70-passenger aircraft.

Mackenzie said he understands that the problem has been resolved.

"You must make sure you have enough runway to start your takeoff, lose an engine and either safely stop or safely takeoff," Mackenzie said.

A spokesperson for the airline told NBC 7 San Diego through email that the company has a great relationship with the regional FAA office and that "they're working with us to get through the certification process."

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