Disneyland-bound tourists could be offered incentives to land in Ontario instead of JWA, group says
Daily Pilot Sunday, December 6, 2009
By Joseph Serna
While it won’t solve the issue, a local group says it’s found a way to steer away more than a million travelers from landing at John Wayne Airport and help relieve some of the pressure on the facility to expand.
“Any amount of traffic we can get diverted is key,” said Jeanne Price, one of the founders of AirFair, a local group dedicated to keeping John Wayne Airport from expanding.
AirFair hosted a presentation Friday by Peggy Ducey, (see photo left) a consultant hired by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), an organization that owns the Ontario and Palmdale airports and is looking to divert passengers from LAX.
LAWA and AirFair found a mutual group of fliers they could steer away from John Wayne Airport to Ontario: tourists headed to Disneyland.
Ducey said a recent survey showed that an estimated 1.3 million passengers, or 14% of John Wayne’s annual customers, are headed to the land of Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.
On top of that, she said, an overwhelming majority of them are taking buses and shuttles from the airport to the Disney resort in Anaheim.
“We already had a passenger market doing everything they wanted us to do — they were just going to the wrong airport,” Ducey told the small group at the Santa Ana Heights Fire Station.
Ducey said LAWA is working with Disney and Ontario to quicken tourists’ transfer from the airport to their hotel. Because Ontario Airport is significantly farther away than John Wayne, the groups are looking at different incentives — such as discounted air fares, hotel prices or Disneyland ticket prices — to attract travelers to Ontario Airport, Ducey said.
“This is a work in progress. The bottom line is we have to reduce the operation costs at Ontario,” for this to effectively work, Ducey told the audience, which included Newport Beach, Irvine and Costa Mesa city council members.
Ducey said they hope to have a system working by the next vacation season in the summer. The plan will only be temporary until Anaheim finalizes its own transportation hub called ARTIC, which will then be drawn into the operation, Ducey said.
“We were pleased to listen to Los Angeles World Airports’ regional plan, and we are always interested in opportunities that might benefit our guests,” Betsy Sanchez, a spokesperson for Disneyland Resort, said Friday in a phone interview. “However, we have made no commitments, and it would be extremely premature to discuss any details.”
Price, Ducey and the Newport Beach Councilman Keith Curry said that even if all 1.3 million Disney resort tourists went to Ontario Airport, they would be quickly replaced with other customers because of demand. The goal at this point though, Price said, was simply to reduce demand on the airport in hopes it eventually stops any push for expansion.
The Daily Pilot August 4, 2010
The Bell Curve: What has wings, flies and is a problem?
By Joseph N. Bell
What's the biggest problem facing Newport Beach today? I mean for the people who live here. You and me.
give me a straight answer. I'm taking a poll. Think about it for a
while if you must. It's a little disheartening - even for deaf people
like me - if the answer doesn't leap out at you.
So let me give
you some clues. This is the sort of man-made disaster that we can
prevent from happening. We can't prevent tidal waves or typhoons or
hurricanes or earthquakes. We can only try as best we can to prepare for
them if fate sends them our way. But what I'm fishing for here is
preventable. And we can, and are, watching it happen - and not seeing
it. That's the biggest problem facing Newport Beach.
Still puzzled? OK, here's one last clue.
has wings and its natural habitat is in the air. It causes problems
only when it runs afoul of mortals on the ground. This started to happen
here when our Orange County Airport took on the name of a Hollywood
cowboy and set its sights on turning a fine regional airport into one
with inadequate space and inappropriate surroundings for its ambitions. (Read on)
Read the July update on JWA by Thomas Edwards, counsel to the Newport Beach City Council for aviation.>>>
The Irvine City Council and the Laguna Beach City
Council unanimously agreed in April and May to support the Corridor
Cities Coalition, which aims to cap noise and other negative impacts
resulting from operations at John Wayne Airport. Anaheim, Costa
Mesa, Orange, Santa Ana, Tustin and Newport Beach are also a part of
the alliance. >>>Read on
Advocates effective in methods
Steve Smith, columnist for Daily Pilot, interviews AirFair President Melinda Seely and Jean Watt, former Newport Council and founder of SPON and AirFair.
(from the Daily Pilot May 17, 2010)
The home page of the website for AirFair, the group working to improve your quality of life by trying to limit passenger levels at John Wayne Airport, features this quote by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
A quick label for Melinda Seely, AirFair president, and Jean Watt, a board member, would be "activists," but that would be taking the easy way out. Call them "advocates."Read the article>>
SPON, a signer on the initial 1985 Settlement Agreement and the 2002 Amendment supports permanently capping the number of flights at JWA . Click to see their website.
Flights to Central America
If you ever had any doubts about the possibility of John Wayne Airport expansion, read the Daily Pilot's news story (May 26) posted here:
(I cannot resist pointing out the reporter used the word "contrails" in his description. Contrails has become one those words associated with aviation pollution. (Contrails are streaks of condensed water vapor created by aviation at high altitude. The question is: Do they contain emissions from airplanes?)
Daily Pilot Tom Ragan
JWA may reach Central America
International flights would depart from Terminal C, the hub
slated to be finished in December 2011.
Orange County is breaking out of its insular self as John Wayne Airport
prepares for the possibility of international flights to Mexico and
other destinations in Central America, which would follow in the
contrails of JWA's new once-daily service to Toronto.
began Tuesday on a walkway that will connect the airport's Terminal B
to Terminal C, the future 280,000-square-foot facility featuring six new
gates, which will go along with new international flights, said Jenny
Wedge, the airport's spokeswoman. Read on >>
Newport Beach Aviation Committee
Newport Beach Aviation
Committee met for its regular monthly meeting, May 24 at 8 a.m.at the
Central Library. These meetings are open to the public. At every
meeting in addition to other business, Thomas Edwards, the NBCC attorney
for airport issues, gives a monthly report.
The report, as well as some of his previous reports, are attached here as pdf documents. Click here to read the documents
Newsletter has been mailed. If you did not receive a copy, send us
your name and address, and we will send you one. firstname.lastname@example.org Unfortunately when the newsletter went to press, AirFair thought the Air Quality Report conducted last fall would be finished and available. However, the report has been delayed until this summer. As soon as the report is available, we will post it here and mail it to our email address list.
JWA commercial traffic rises last 12 months>>See below
John Wayne Airport to run with expansion plan The Orange County airport is undertaking a $652-million project that includes a new passenger terminal and a parking structure with at least 2,000 spaces. Not everyone, however, is on board.
By Dan Weikel November 30, 2008
Airports across the country are shelving or downsizing planned
expansions because of a sharp drop in passengers, yet John Wayne
Airport in Orange County is proceeding with a $652-million terminal
project -- its first major improvement since 1990.
officials say the project will meet future demands for air travel and
maintain the airport's position as an attractive alternative to the
much larger Los Angeles International Airport, which handled more than
61 million travelers last year.
Plans call for a third passenger
terminal that would increase the gates for commercial aircraft from 14
to 20 and help the airport accommodate up to 10.8 million passengers a
year -- the ceiling set by an earlier court settlement with residents
of neighboring cities.
November 17, 2007
Daily Pilot EDITORIAL: JWA growth an issue that won't go away
Maybe in the future air commuters will be able to park their cars at what will be called the John Wayne Airport and Transportation Center, and instead of boarding a flight right there, hop on a train and take a maglev ride to Ontario Airport or points beyond.
Or maybe, just maybe, more property will become available, maybe even at Camp Pendleton Marine Base, that would be perfectly suited for a new airport.
Unfortunately, we’re here to say those “maybes” can’t be counted on any time soon.
Indeed, the exorbitant costs of land, technology and building the infrastructure of rapid transit makes those options so cost-prohibitive as to almost be a pipe dream.
At least that was the impression we got after hearing from representatives of the Southern California Association of Governments as they discussed those very options at a meeting earlier this week with members of AirFair, a group dedicated to keeping the caps on flights and expansion of JWA intact.
“I thought the residents made it pretty clear to SCAG that we want them to find an alternative airport location, or put some high priority on some efficient transit system that will get people from here to an airport in Ontario or San Bernardino,” Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley was quoted as saying.
Foley is correct, and if that doesn’t happen, it’s too bad.
As the recent numbers at JWA show, the airport’s demand is increasing.
Numbers from last August showed a 7.2% increase in flights year over year.
Increasingly, the pressure on JWA is coming from air carriers and a booming population.
Thankfully, city, county and federal officials have inked the settlement agreement that extends the restrictions, capping flights and imposing noise curfews on the airport through 2015.
But make no mistake, that pressure is going to continue. Consequently, so should the quest to find a solution to JWA’s impending growth. Because expanding the physical size of the airport and destroying homes, neighborhoods and businesses simply is not an option.
November 14, 2007
Daily Pilot THE POLITICAL LANDSCAPE: Air transport just dream
By Chris Caesar and Brianna Bailey
If you’re hoping regional transportation authorities will find property for another airport to alleviate traffic at John Wayne Airport, forget about it.
To make matters worse, it appears that transportation planners from the Southern California Assn. of Governments are also banking on high-speed rail to steer some travelers to other regional airports, like Ontario.
Good luck with that. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is ordering 10% cuts in state spending and there’s likely little public funding for the so-called maglev trains.
In all fairness, it’s not like the transportation planners are unaware of that as they’re hoping to attract private funding for the trains.
Again, good luck with that, but it sounds like a long shot with the economy getting hammered by a sub-prime mortgage virus that’s as unshakable as Britney Spears’ paparazzi, and oil prices jumping higher than Kobe Bryant in a slam-dunk contest.
Area leaders got a hint of all this when they met this week with representatives from the Southern California Assn. of Governments.
AirFair, the local organization that advocates the cap on John Wayne traffic, sponsored the meeting.
“I thought the residents made it pretty clear to SCAG that we want them to find an alternative airport location, or put some high priority on some efficient transit system that will get people from here to an airport in Ontario or San Bernardino,” Costa Mesa Councilwoman Katrina Foley said. “Clearly, people are frustrated.”
Those at Tuesday’s meeting were having none of the maglev train proposals either. Many were skeptical of the availability of funds, especially during the state’s current budget downfall.
“I think everyone saw that one of the big problems is that there is no money for any of this stuff,” AirFair President Melinda Seely said. “If there isn’t any money to fund just normal roads, then we’re going to be hard-pressed to come up with money.”
When Michael Armstrong and Michael Jones of SCAG suggested private financing for the high-speed rail, that drew more skepticism. “Of course, no one ever mentions the ‘T’ word — taxes, raising taxes — because we are in the heart of Republican territory,” Seely said. Those interested in submitting comments to SCAG regarding the 2008 Regional Transportation Plan may do so at www.scag.ca.gov/rtp2008/index.htm.
September 17, 2007
The Los Angeles Times Dogfight ahead over O.C. airport? More people than ever use it. Neighbors fear expansion is a prelude to lifting usage caps.
By David Reyes
New plans at John Wayne Airport call for a third terminal with room for an international customs office, six more gates, and 2,000 more parking spaces by 2011.
Even as the concrete dried, airport planners realized the new terminals at John Wayne Airport would not be enough to support passenger growth.
Now, 17 years later, the number of passengers pouring into John Wayne is setting records, and a half-billion-dollar expansion project to handle more travelers with a third terminal, added parking and a customs office to inaugurate international flights has begun. The work is expected to be completed in four years.
In August, at the height of the travel season, nearly 1 million passengers passed through John Wayne.
"We only have 14 gates, and we just can't handle that many passengers," airport director Alan Murphy said, adding that maintenance and baggage handling were suffering. "Our passenger levels are the highest ever."
To continue, click here
Evelyn Hart named State Sen. Tom Harman's Woman of the Year
Evelyn Hart a founder of AirFair
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER By NIYAZ PIRANI
It's been a good year for Newport Beach resident Evelyn Hart. The
former mayor has been hard at work as the president of Friends of
Oasis, a nonprofit that supports the Oasis Senior Center in Corona Del
Mar. She's also spearheading the fundraising campaign for a new center.
June she was recognized as Citizen of the Year in Newport Beach, and on
March 10, Hart was given the title of Woman of the Year for the 35th
State Senate District by Sen. Tom Harman. Q:Why do you feel you were recognized by Harman? A:I
serve on a number of boards that are important area-wise. Between that
and particularly because of Oasis, I think that encouraged him to give
me serious consideration. … How can you say no to a sweet, old, gray-haired woman? Q:How does it feel to be recognized? A:It
feels really good. I know so many people that are so deserving of an
honor like this, and I feel really, really special that I was chosen. Q:What was it like being the mayor of Newport Beach? A:I
had really good relationships with the other council members. We had
real strong feelings about issues but we were able to move on to the
next issue and resolve any issues we had. I was particularly
interested in outreach to other cities because I think Newport was
then, and is still today, vulnerable to outside forces including the airport, the Upper Bay, the drinking water issues and the annexations. Q:How has the experience on the council translated to being president of the Friends of Oasis? A:I
learned how to run meetings. … It's the same thing. You set the
agendas, and you make sure you're financially balanced. It's helping
people wherever you can, and I'm still working with the city of Newport
Beach because this is a city facility. Q:What are some of the issues you are hoping to resolve now? A:I'm
trying to work with our committee to rebuild Oasis Senior Center.
That's going to continue to take up a lot of time. We want a
first-class center for our seniors, and we're also trying to get
prepared for the baby boomers that are coming online. There's still
a need for those less fortunate financially to have a place to go, and
I want to make sure that our seniors, regardless of their income level,
will be welcome here and at our new center also.
Contact the writer: 714-445-6689 or email@example.com
August 29, 2007
Daily Pilot Community commentary:Council working to protect residents from JWA effects
By Leslie Daigle
With due respect to other issues of the day — the most important thing the Newport Beach City Council has done in the past, continues to do and must do in the future is to prevent the physical expansion of John Wayne Airport (JWA), while preserving the JWA Settlement Agreement and the existing noise curfew.
The addition of a second commercial jet runway or a change in the noise curfew would directly damage the quality of life of more than 80,000 Newport Beach residents and indirectly impact everyone in this city. The City Council and the community have long recognized “airport impacts are now, and will continue to be, the most significant threat to the quality of life of Newport Beach residents” (City Council Airport Policy A-17).
In response to a JWA article in the Daily Pilot, August 26 that had erroneous statistics, Nancy Alston wrote the following letter to the paper, published August 28:
When residents of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa believe there are more flights over their heads this year from John Wayne Airport, they are not mistaken. The number of commercial jets increased 5.7%, and the number of passengers was up 6% when you compare JWA?s statistics for the first seven months of 2007 and 2006.
It is a mistake to report that the total number of aircraft operations has decreased 6.6% compared to July 2006. Only private aircraft has decreased by that number, and that is because of ongoing construction and the rising number of commercial jets.
JWA not only affects Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, but also all of the cities lying under the arrival flight path: Anaheim, Orange, Tustin, Santa Ana, and Villa Park. That is why when AirFair organized five years ago at the time the last Settlement Agreement was enacted, we decided to be a grassroots and a regional organization.
Perhaps it is human nature to think that the government or someone will come along to keep JWA from destroying parts of the cities that lie under the flight path.
True, the current city councils and some of the supervisors are supportive of limiting a further expansion of JWA. However, unless an agreement is adjudicated, it may only last as long as that council or supervisor is in office. Elected officials cannot make promises for future officials.
That leaves it to us. Unless we work hard with residents of other cities to contain growth of the airport, forces calling for another expansion of JWA will succeed, and the planes will not affect just those residents in a narrow flight path, but a much wider area.
That is why I am a member of AirFair.
Nancy Alston Newport Beach
July 10, 2007
The Orange County Register Goal of JWA expansion debated In wake of $135 million cost increase, observers wonder about airport claims not to seek extra flights.
By Jeff Overley
What will a half-billion dollars and change buy Orange County's air travelers?In light of a nine-figure spike in the cost of an expansion project at John Wayne Airport, many observers are wondering just that.The aviation hub this year launched a project to add a third terminal, six gates and 2,000 or more parking spaces. Work will cost about $570 million, up $135 million from original estimates, officials said last week.The cost won't hit taxpayers, but the revelation has roused observers who say the new price tag, for better or worse, will justify significant airport traffic increases.
Such a scenario would be politically explosive, as the airport is bound by a legal agreement to limit flights roaring over neighborhoods. Officials say the expansion is intended only to better serve existing passengers and allowable increases in travelers down the road. "It's not our goal to stuff people in there," spokeswoman Jenny Wedge said.
But airport watchers are skeptical. "I don't think there's anyone who could say that's all we're going to do" is expand but not allow more flights, said Jeanne Price of Airfair, a group that seeks restrictions at JWA. "To say otherwise, I think, would be disingenuous."
Similar head-scratching exists among those who support more flights. "I would say that it's unclear as to why they're spending a half-billion dollars if they have no plans to utilize that for additional flights," said Len Kranser, a local observer who says consumer choice is limited by airport restrictions.
Wedge said the airport often faces parking shortages and baggage-claim delays, problems the expansion addresses. Other steps will improve the travel experience, she said, noting plans for Wi-Fi Internet access and new concessions.
The airport faces heavy rushes during popular travel times, and increasing flights would require people to fly at odd hours, Wedge added. "It's like, when do people drive on the freeway? … You can't ask them to drive on the freeway at 3 in the morning just because it's wide-open out there."
Incensed by airplane noise, activists and Newport Beach officials in 1985 negotiated limits on JWA travel. In 2002, the agreement was amended to allow more flights and passengers.
Travel this year is up 6 percent, and if it keeps that pace, about 10.3 million passengers will go through the airport's gates. That's the maximum allowed annually through 2010, and many locals fear the spike in traffic, coupled with the expansion, will encourage policymakers to revisit the legal agreement's restrictions.
"I think the pressure is on right now to have a look at that agreement. There are many people who would like to see flights going out of there increase," said Evelyn Hart, also an Airfair member.
Annual Orange County air travel will grow to 32 million people in 2030 from roughly 16 million now, said Michael Armstrong, aviation program manager for the Southern California Association of Governments. The spike is driven by tourism as well as white-collar job growth and related business travel, Armstrong said.
Newport remains aggressive in trying to limit airport operations, passing resolutions to bolster Airfair and a coalition of airport-area cities. City Manager Homer Bludau said he expects the legal accord to be honored, but that's little comfort. "We can never rest thinking the issue is going to be resolved," he said. "We always need to be exploring new ways of protecting the community from future expansions."
Daily Pilot Council votes to oppose JWA expansion on course
The Costa Mesa City Council unanimously voted for a resolution that staunchly opposed gutting the back nine at the Newport Beach Golf Course Councilwoman Katrina Foley proposed the resolution.
The resolution is meant to let the county Board of Supervisors know the city is opposed to changing the land use of the course, especially for rental car storage for John Wayne Airport.
The council also recommended that athletic fields be developed at 1100 Bristol St., a property that is also owned by the community. A self-storage facility stands at the address. Its lease ends Dec. 31.
June 4, 2007
Daily Pilot Turn anti-expansion rhetoric into reality
By Katrina Foley
When I ran for City Council in 2004, I promised to work hard to stop the expansion of John Wayne Airport. I joined AirFair then and support them now in their grass-roots mission for permanent caps at JWA. On Tuesday night, we will continue the fight.
The Costa Mesa City Council will consider an anti-airport expansion resolution that I am sponsoring. The Daily Pilot recently reported that the airport is seeking more parking and was considering two sites on Bristol Street: the back nine of the Newport Beach Golf Course and another county-owned parcel in Costa Mesa to the north.
On Tuesday, I will ask my colleagues on the council to adopt a resolution communicating to the Orange County Board of Supervisors that Costa Mesa opposes any change in land use of the Newport Beach Golf Course, and supports the development of active recreational facilities on the county's flood control property at 1100 Bristol St.
Our Newport-Mesa community has objected loudly to any scheme to bulldoze the golf course and build rental car storage/parking. I agree.
While much discussion has ensued about the obvious need to protect the golf course, little attention has been given to the Bristol Street parcel.
Costa Mesa has been actively negotiating with the county during the last few years so that we could build lighted sports fields. Fields in this area are greatly needed by AYSO 97 and others, including adults.
Losing the golf course or the opportunity for more lighted fields diminishes the value of our two communities by reducing low-cost, enjoyable recreational resources for our families. Loss of the golf course will also further reduce beautiful, green open space.
But my concerns reach beyond just recreation. I join AirFair along with many residents of both Costa Mesa and Newport Beach who object to any southern expansion of airport operations across Bristol and the 73 Freeway.
Allowing such an encroachment ensures expansion of the airport when the settlement agreement expires.
This potential precedent and push southward of the airport support facilities will only increase the JWA footprint. An increase in the footprint equals increased air noise, pollution, and negative impacts on our surrounding communities and the families living near, or worse, under the flight plan.
We hear a lot of rhetoric about local control — let's turn rhetoric into reality by controlling any airport expansion plans. You can read the resolution at www.ci.costa-mesa.ca.us. The meeting starts at 6 p.m., but if you can't make it, tune in to Channel 24 in Costa Mesa, or online from Costa Mesa TV on the city's website and watch local control in action.
For more information about AirFair and how you can help "lock the gate at 10.8" million passengers, visit www.jwairfair.com. Visit my website at www.katrinafoley.com for updates on this topic and more.
KATRINA FOLEY is a Costa Mesa city councilwoman.
May 12, 2007
Daily Pilot Report: Airport generates $500M in tax revenue
By Amanda Pennington
John Wayne Airport released a study this week estimating that the airport generated more than $496 million in tax revenue in 2005.
The study of economic effects reported that the airport also sparked $5.61 billion in spending and employed the equivalent of 42,162 full-time workers who were collectively paid $1.28 billion in 2005.
John Wayne was the 28th busiest airport in the country in 2005 because of its 11 commercial, three commuter and two cargo airlines, according to the study.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Daily Pilot Evelyn Hart Newport Citizen of the Year
By Alicia Robinson
Former Newport Beach Councilwoman Evelyn Hart isn't getting an award for her hospitality, but perhaps she should.
If you come to her house, Newport Beach's 2007 citizen of the year will make you a cup of coffee, and she may offer her services as surrogate granny for the entire city of Newport Beach.
Hart learned Friday she's been chosen by past citizens of the year to be the 62nd recipient of the honor, which will be presented at a dinner in June. The award was founded by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce in 1949.
There's no question she meets one of the criteria — long-term, continuing commitment to the community. Hart served on the City Council for 16 years, has been on the boards of nonprofits such as Youth Employment Service and Someone Cares Soup Kitchen, was a governor's appointee to the state Board of Behavioral Sciences and the Regional Water Quality Control Board, and now she works on airport issues with the group AirFair.
A resident of Newport since 1951, Hart said she's not exactly sure why she was chosen as Citizen of the Year, but she recounted a few highlights from her council career: She represented the city in talks on the first airport settlement agreement and she encouraged the city to take a lead in the use of technology such as the Geographic Information System.
"Computers were actually just coming into their own, and Newport was one of the very first to have a GIS system," she said.
She also was a proponent of the original Greenlight initiative, Measure S. Her biggest current project is the proposed rebuilding of the Oasis Senior Center, for which fundraising just began.
"I think this ought to be the Year of the Granny," she joked.
February 14, 2007
Orange County Register JWA on a new timetable IN FLIGHT: While the revised construction schedule may affect passenger parking, plans still hold for adding six new gates.
Officials will change the schedule for a roughly $435 million expansion of John Wayne Airport, building essential and more expensive elements first. The project will still start in spring and finish in 2012.
Daily Breeze OC says it can do little to cut LAX traffic An alliance is studying options, but a key Orange County official says restrictions keep John Wayne Airport from absorbing more flights.
By Doug Irving Staff Writer
A gathering political force seen by some as the best hope for breaking through the coming gridlock at Los Angeles International Airport has yet to win over one critical player.
Orange County's residents make millions of trips through LAX every year, adding to the congestion that has forced politicians from around the region to look for other airports to take some of the overflow. But Orange County itself has refused to even take a seat on a regional alliance working to encourage the growth of smaller, suburban airports.
Los Angeles County's neighbor wants assurances that the alliance won't send more air traffic its way. Its refusal to absorb more flights illustrates one of the real challenges facing a region that will have to accommodate tens of millions more air travelers in the years to come.
"We're willing to participate," said John Moorlach, an Orange County supervisor who would represent the county on the regional aviation alliance. But, he added, "if the purpose of (the alliance) is just to help LAX reduce the number of flights using their airport, then we're not interested."
Evelyn Hart, former mayor of Newport Beach, writes a guest column for the DAILY PILOT.
POLITICALLY CORRECT Time to say no to JWA concessions Evelyn Hart
Newport Beach and our sister cities need reassurances now, more than ever, that our quality of life is being protected. We all know John Wayne Airport is a major airport in the wrong place, impacting too many people, and yes, the demand for air passengers continues to increase.
As a city, we should be outraged about this latest agreement. Statistics show that next year -- 2006 -- the interim cap of 10.3 million annual passengers will be met. What do you think will happen then? Will the airport expansionists allow the cap to stand? Or, will history repeat itself and more concessions be made? The interim limit, according to the 2003 amendment, capped John Wayne at 10.3 million annual passengers until 2011, when the final cap of 10.8 kicks in. Four years later, in 2015, all passenger limits expire.
There are a number of us who are starting to stand up and say: "No more." We mean no more increases in air passengers and no fooling around with the curfew. Our battle cry, if you will, is "10.8, let's lock the gate!" We are called AirFair, and we know John Wayne carries a fair share of air passengers now and for the future.