Unusual plan for international airport

Details of an unusual plan to build a new international airport in the shallow southern waters of San Diego Bay have been released.

A private business group called The Airport Trust received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office on Dec. 30, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Patent documents show the group believes it can build a multilevel airport with three runways covering three square miles between Chula Vista and Coronado, the newspaper reported. The new airport would sit partially on an island of material dredged from the bay floor.

Passengers would take an underwater tunnel to reach the aquatic airport, the Union-Tribune reported.

Reactions were mixed.

“Can you spell laugh out loud?’' former state Sen. Steve Peace, a member of a regional committee examining Lindbergh Field’s future, told the newspaper. “This is crackpot stuff.’'

Irene McCormack, a vice president at the San Diego Unified Port District, told the Union-Tribune, the plan does seem implausible but “stranger things have happened.’'

In order to be built, the new airport would have to be approved by the state Coastal Commission and several other agencies.

A presentation to the San Diego Association of Government that would start the review process could be held as early as next month, the Union-Tribune reported.