Leader Jones’s Airport Bill Flies to Governor’s Desk with Unanimous Approval

Measure requested by Leader Jones’s constituents

Today, Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) announced his Senate Bill 654, a measure sponsored by his constituents, unanimously passed off the Assembly Floor. SB 654 addresses ambiguity in state law regarding airport and hangar leases.

“Helping constituents is the most rewarding part of my job as a senator,” said Leader Jones. “This bill will help bring clarity to the law so the state more fairly serves its citizens, including my constituents who have been directly impacted by this issue. I strongly encourage Californians to raise problems they see in the law with their representative and work together to resolve them. I am thrilled we were able to fix this airport lease ambiguity for my constituents.” 

After noticing inconsistencies in San Diego County about the law’s interpretation, Leader Jones’s constituents raised the issue. As a result of unclear statutes, San Diego County formed a unique policy that forbids the extension of airport and hangar leases beyond a period of 50 years, even in cases where the lease has been inherited or purchased by a new individual. This policy has hampered investment in airport facility maintenance, which relies on lessee investments that often take decades to pay off. The County’s policy directly impacted the constituents’ involvement at a local airport.

“With the passage of SB 654, all of our problems related to our local airport will disappear and we will quickly see a lot of new capital investments along with new environmentally sustainable projects being implemented on all County Airports,” said Darren Miller, a constituent sponsor of the bill. “Thank you Senator Jones for listening to your constituents and helping fix this problem for the betterment of all Californians.”

Specifically, SB 654 clarifies existing law to give explicit permission to local airports to extend airport hangar leases beyond a 50-year total, so long as no single lease term is longer than 50 years. This clarification places all county airports on a level playing field, ensures equal application of state law across counties, and restores investment in California’s airport infrastructure.

SB 654 passed off the Senate and Assembly Floors unanimously with strong bipartisan support. The measure now heads to Governor Newsom’s desk for his signature.