California Pacific Airlines (4A, Pontiac) may have to defer its launch plans beyond the third quarter of this year after officials from San Diego County, the owner of CPA's base Carlsbad, CA, warned that the start-up had yet to secure approval for its Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), a key requirement in its quest to begin scheduled Part 125 operations.

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that during a press conference last week, CPA's founder and chairman, Ted Vallas, clashed with officials claiming that all necessary environmental studies had been done and submitted. County officials disputed his claim stating that CPA's most recent EIA was rejected in February owing to insufficient information concerning its operational plans, security procedures and daily traffic patterns.

When officials added that approval could take between eight and twenty-four months to secure, Vallas reiterated a previous position that CPA would instead consider acquiring an existing airline's AOC and using that to launch. That however, would also require an EIA, the officials added.

CPA's launch has dragged on for several years with the FAA citing "several deficiencies relating to safety, maintenance and inspections" in its last round of inspections back in 2013.

Last month, Vallas announced CPA had set itself a provisional third-quarter launch window with plans to use a trio of E135s to serve six destinations in California, Arizona, Nevada, and Mexico from its Carlsbad, CA hub