Newport Beach residents who live close to our bay and ocean enjoy incredibly beautiful neighborhoods and spectacular views, but they also have to endure the noise and pollution from airplanes flying out of John Wayne Airport.
From the first time Orange County Supervisors introduced the idea of commercial flights from the former small airfield limited to private planes, local concerned citizens complained and initiated efforts to prevent the airfield from becoming a commercial airport.
Some Newport Beach residents who lived close to the airport site were furious. A group of Newport women, who were particularly outraged, planned to lie on the tarmac arm in arm to prevent planes from departing. The Supervisors stopped their plans with the promiseto begin seeking an alternative site, a more appropriate one.
When El Toro Air Base closed and vacated the property, County Supervisors found the perfect site – an answer to everyone’s concern. However, the city of Irvine and othersouthern Orange County cities waged war against the Supervisor’s plan and won.
Irvine ended up with the large piece of property where they promised to build a “GreatPark.” That was 15 years ago; to date, the Great Park has not materialized.
The battle to keep JWA from further expansion has been a struggle. The Newport Beach City Council, County Supervisors, and SPON developed a Settlement Agreement that was accepted by the FAA.
JWA is one of the few airports in the country to have such a contract. This offers specific protections for impacted residents, such as limiting the number of flights per day, placing noise restriction levels on planes, and a curfew that prevents commercial airlines from flying between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
JWA has a “hot line” citizens can call to report any suspected violations of rules regarding commercial planes, such as those flying too low, planes that sound significantly louder than usual, or a curfew violation. It is helpful to provide as much information possible regarding the plane in question, such as exact time of the flight, identification of the specific carrier, the plane’s identification number, and any other specific information to help JWA representatives identify the offender.
The airport number to call is: 949-252-518.5
Citizen groups such as AirFair, AWG, SPON, and the Newport Beach Aviation Citizens Committee have worked to ensure all rules and regulations are followed. As a current Board member of AirFair, I invite all who are interested in airport issues to attend our meetings and join us in our efforts to keep Newport Beach as one of the most desirable places to live in the World. jwairfair.com.