Community Meeting on JWA General Aviation Planned

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A plane takes off from John Wayne Airport, flying over Newport Beach homes and the Upper Newport Bay.
— NB Indy file photo by Lawrence Sherwin ©

Community organization Speak Up Newport is hosting their monthly meeting next week with another hot topic: John Wayne Airport.

The title for July’s meeting is “What is the Future of the John Wayne Airport General Aviation Improvement Program (GAIP)?”

It will be held Wednesday in the community room at the Newport Beach Civic Center. A reception, including complimentary light supper provided by The Bungalow and wine available for purchase, will start at 5:15 p.m. The program will run from 6 to 7 p.m.

“Come hear about what the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved at its June 25th meeting and get the facts on the program’s future,” organizers wrote in an announcement shared last week.

The GAIP will make changes to the airport’s General Aviation Facilities. A panel of speakers will present the facts about the actions taken by the OC Board of Supervisors on June 25 and what the future holds for this project.

Tom Edwards, the city’s aviation consultant will present the facts on what the board approved and the city’s position.

Susan Dvorak, representing Citizens Against Airport Noise & Pollution, will present the residents’ point of view.

Joe Daichendt, from ACI, one of the county’s current General Aviation services providers, will present ACI’s vision of how the GAIP will operate and its impact on Newport Beach.

Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 on June 25 for an alternative plan, which includes many elements of the project alternative supported by the city of Newport Beach.

City officials announced the decision in a press release and Mayor Diane Dixon called it a “win” for the city. It doesn’t have everything city officials wanted, but it doesn’t have everything the county was initially proposing either, she explained.

Proposed by Supervisor Michelle Steel, whose district covers Newport Beach, the plan is meant to be a “compromise” with a mix of general aviation at the local airport.

The proposed project calls for two full-service and one new and one existing limited-service Fixed Base Operators.

Plans also include allowing an international general aviation facility with hours limited between 5 a.m. and midnight.

It also limits medium and large general aviation jet aircraft to 25.6 acres on JWA property and designates 35.6 acres exclusively for small general aviation aircraft.

It preserves space at the airport for small GA planes by “imposing land use and lease restrictions on certain airport parcels so that more than 50 percent of the airport area available for general aviation will be dedicated to light general aviation aircraft. In doing so, the plan will help to preserve the presence of small general aviation (twin- and single-engine) aircraft, and thereby limit the amount of space for general aviation jets, at the airport,” city officials explained.

City officials called the plan “significantly better for Newport Beach” than alternative one, which was recommended by County staff.

There is no charge to attend and the public is invited. Reservations are not necessary.

For more information on the meeting, call (949) 224-2266 or visit speakupnewport.com

For more information about the GAIP, visit newportbeachca.gov/government/departments/city-manager/john-wayne-airport/jwa-general-aviation-improvement-program

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