A commercial pilot shows why safety factors
will put planes over unsuspecting communities.
He also offers an alternative for expanding John Wayne
without creating more noise in Newport Beach.
Captain McKenzie describes the flight route of planes taking off on Runway 34 (northbound) from the proposed El Toro International Airport and approximately how low the planes will be flying over various cities. Note that the heaviest planes will be even lower than the figures shown. The Countyís plan proposes 50 flights per hour, 24 hours per day!
October 27, 1996
FROM: Earl McKenzie, Boeing 767/757 Captain with United Airlines with 25,000 flight hours and almost 31 years commercial flight experience.
The proposed El Toro International Airport projects that most take-offs would be to the East, on Runway 7, and the balance would be to the North, on Runway 34. In fact, under practically no circumstances will easterly take-offs be possible. The safest take-offs are to the west or the south. To the extent that take-offs were to be made to the north, the noise impact over central and north Orange County would be significant, especially with heavy jet aircraft whose climb performance would be greatly restricted. This would include such aircraft as B747-400, the B777, the MD-11, and the DC-10's, which are the primary long-distance or international aircraft. The noise of jet aircraft is significant after take-off until the plane reaches about 5,000 feet.
Because of the normal noise abatement procedures now in effect, the aircraft will be at full take-off power and not higher than 1,000 feet above the ground for the first four to six miles after take-off. This means the noise level will be deafening over Tustin, Lemon Heights, portions of Santa Ana, Orange, Garden Grove and Anaheim. This will be especially true for aircraft that are heavily laden for flights to the east coast or international destinations.
AN ALTERNATE PROPOSAL:
We already have John Wayne Airport, which we just spent a large sum of money expanding. Why not extend the existing runway used by commercial aircraft an additional 5,000 feet to the east, resulting in a total runway length of more than 10,000 feet? As currently exists at LAX in respect to Sepulveda Blvd., the 405 freeway could pass under the runway extension.The noise footprint would be much less than the proposed E.T. alternative because no new take-off flight patterns would be added over central and north Orange County, as would be necessary if El Toro were to be utilized as the primary commercial airport.
It would allow jets to take off into the wind, westbound -- the safest take-off. Aircraft would not pass over Irvine, as they would if taking off to the west from the proposed E.T. International Airport. The noise over the Newport Beach community would be greatly decreased, as well, because the aircraft would be approximately 3000 feet higher than they are now, flying out of John Wayne Airport. This would be a much less costly solution than closing John Wayne Airport and building an entirely new airport.