AirFair has prepared answers to some often asked questions about John Wayne Airport. If you have another question, please contact us, and if we do not know the answer, we will research it and get back to you.
Information compiled from interviews with airport officials; JWA monthly,
Quarterly, and annual reports; the JWA website; and aviation experts. Most figures are from the JWA website. Click here.
Does the City of Newport Beach
control John Wayne Airport
No. JWA is owned and operated by the County of Orange.
Operations on the ground are generally regulated by JWA. Once an airplane is
airborne, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controls the air
space. In addition, attempts to limit
and/or restrict operations are for the most part controlled by the FAA and
But I thought Newport
Beach had a Settlement Agreement that limited
operations at JWA?
The Settlement Agreement, a four-party
agreement signed by Orange County, Newport Beach,
Stop Polluting Our Newport, and Airport Working Group, is the most restrictive
of its kind in the U.S. and
arose out of litigation between Newport Beach
and Orange County.
A settlement was reached in 1985.
However, in 1990 Congress passed the Airport Noise and Capacity Act
(ANCA), which severely limited the proprietors of airports from reducing or
limiting their operations. Newport Beach, Orange County,
SPON, and AWG were successful in grandfathering in the 1985 Agreement so that
it remained in effect after the passage of ANCA. The 1985 Agreement was extended in 2003 to
last until 2015. The current Settlement Agreement was determined by the FAA not
to further reduce or limit operations in accordance with ANCA.
many planes fly in and out of JWA every day?
500 at present, commercial and private aircraft.. In 2007 that number was
almost 1,000 per day. While the number
of commercial flights has decreased from 288 to 226 operations per day, a
decrease of 21 % due to the recession, general aviation decreased an almost
unbelievable 55 percent from 2006 to 2010. In short, small general
aviation aircraft, not private jets, are leaving JWA. Of
those daily aircraft operations, how many are jet flights?
jets land and depart at JWA every day, according to the JWA report for March
2011, the last published report. Before
the current economic downturn, almost 400 jet flights landed and departed
I read that JWA was limited to 85 daily commercial jet flights.
did read that, but just giving that number without explanation is misleading.
Here is why. The 2003 Settlement Agreement, as well as the previous 1985
Agreement, limits the noisiest commercial flights per day, not the total
number of flights per day. In fact, most of the jet aircraft do not count in the 85 Average Daily
does the MAP (Million Annual Passengers) affect the number of planes that can
arrive and depart?
only limitation on the total number of flights is the MAP (Million Annual
Passengers). There is NO
limitation on the total number of flights.
2003 Settlement Agreement, like the previous one, divides commercial jets into
three classifications: Class A, Class AA, and Class E. Generally speaking,
planes with a noise level below 93.5 decibels are Class E, meaning Exempt.
Private jets are not assigned any of these categories.
E planes do not count toward the 85 daily limitation. That limitation is an
important component of the Settlement Agreement because it limits the number of
these noisiest planes, Class A and AA, to 85 per day, but
it does not affect
the total number of planes operating at JWA.
How many commercial
passengers are flying in and out of JWA now?
used JWA during 2010. Before the current recession, JWA’s passenger level
reached almost 10 million (9,979,699 in 2007).
Even with the decrease from 2007 to 2010, the number of passengers using
JWA has grown 20 percent in the last 10 years.
In spite of the recession,
more passengers used JWA last year than in 2003, six years ago.
to the 2003 Amendment (the latest Settlement Agreement), JWA is limited to 10.3
million passengers until 2011. Then, JWA is allowed 10.8 Million Annual
Passengers (MAP) until the Agreement expires in 2015. (These caps on passengers
are sometimes referred to as MAP CAP. If the general aviation passengers, including corporate jets,
are not counted toward the MAP, then what are the limitations on these planes?
much. Private and corporate planes, including jets, are not limited by
the MAP, not limited by the 85 noisiest average daily planes, and not
limited by the curfew. In fact, they can take off or land anytime, day or
night, as many times as they want, as long as they do not violate the noise
parameters. If a private jet violates the noise parameters three times, the
plane is banned from the airport for three years. Briefly,
what are the terms of the 2003 Settlement Agreement?
Million Annual Passengers (MAP) from 01 January 2003 until 2011 (an increase of
23% over the previous limit of 8.4 MAP); additional provisions are:
10.8 MAP from 2011 to 2015
(an increase of 28% over the previous limit)
85 average daily departures
of the noisiest flights (Class A and Class AA, but not Class E)
20 gates (an increase of 43%
or 6 gates)
Noise monitoring system
Curfew from 10 p.m. (departures)
and 11 p.m. (landings) to 7 a.m. (Curfew is in effect until 2020.)
Four cargo flights per day
Expiration of 2003
Settlement Agreement is 2015 for all passenger limits and 2020 for curfew.