February 23 - March 1, 2015

Loretta Sanchez's bill wants John Wayne Airport to be 'port of entry' to attract international travel
- OC Register

A House bill introduced this week would ease airline costs for international flights into John Wayne Airport and could attract more such flights to the county.

The measure calls for the airport to be declared a “port of entry.” Currently, airlines there must reimburse U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the cost of checking travelers from abroad, but there is no such charge to carriers at official ports of entry.

Courtney Wiercioch, a deputy airport director, said Interjet’s decision to leave John Wayne last year was due in part to the customs fees.

“Other international carriers have said that it’s a hindrance to them flying here as well,” she said.

Passengers arriving in the U.S. from abroad already pay a $17.50 fee to customs, regardless of the airport. Additionally, customs charged John Wayne carriers $1.4 million in 2014 to service the 277,000 passengers arriving on international flights.

Airports must have at least 15,000 annual international passengers to qualify to port of entry status.

Website Editor:  Long Beach Airport is considering adding customs facilities at the request of JetBlue.  See article below.

JWA posts January results; more passengers with fewer flights

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in January 2015 as compared to January 2014.  In January 2015, the Airport served 736,666 passengers, an increase of 2.5% when compared to the January 2014 passenger traffic count of 718,549.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 1.7%, while commuter aircraft operations decreased 4.4% when compared to January 2014 levels.

JetBlue requests Long Beach Airport add U.S. Customs facility for international flights
- Long Beach Press-Telegram
JetBlue on Monday formally requested Long Beach Airport apply for a federal customs facility, a move that would allow international travel at the city-owned airport.

In a letter sent to Airport Director Bryant Francis, Robert C. Land, JetBlue senior vice president for Government Affairs and associate general counsel, stated the airline has no interest in modifying the city’s airport noise ordinance.

“JetBlue will utilize only its current allotment of assigned Air Carrier slots and existing aircraft parking positions to fly internationally in addition to our current 11 domestic markets,” Land wrote.

February 16 - February 22, 2015

JWA will see more Southwest flights but not more non-stop cities

More nonstop flights are taking off from John Wayne airport. Travelers will be able to fly on Southwest Airlines to Seattle (SEA) and Chicago (MDW) (the only new airport served) beginning June 28, and to Portland (PDX) beginning August 9, 2015.  Non-stop flights are currently available to Chicago's OHare airport. 
Southwest also announced its plans to increase the number of daily, nonstop departures between John Wayne Airport and Dallas-Love Field (DAL) and Denver (DEN) effective August 2015.
As previously announced, the airline plans to inaugurate daily service to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR) on June 7, 2015, subject to governmental approvals and to Austin (AUS) on June 28, 2015.

Travelers wanting direct service to Washington, DC, New York's Kennedy airport, or Hawaii will have to drive out of Orange County or wait and hope.

No Change of Plans for Airport Noise Ordinance After Special Study Session
- Long Beach Post
A two hour study session held to analyze the current noise ordinance in effect at the Long Beach Airport served as little more than a history lesson, as city council and residents discussed the merits of the noise ordinance and an overwhelming reluctance to modify it in the future.

Assistant City Attorney Michael Mais and City Prosecutor Doug Haubert navigated through a nearly 50 slides in a presentation which documented the litigious history of the city’s Airport Noise Compatibility Ordinance (ANCO), which has remained untouched since its adoption in 1995.

A large part of the reason that it has remained intact is the federal Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA) of 1990, which was passed while ANCO was being processed by an appellate court in California. Long Beach was granted an exemption to keep their ordinance, which pre-dated the federal legislation, with the understanding that any amendments made to it could result in forfeiture of local airport noise governance.

“Since that federal law was enacted in 1990, no other airport in the country has been successful in being able to impose these types of restrictions that we currently have at our airport with flight caps and curfews,” Mais said. “There are probably only about five or six airports that share what we have as far as being exempt from ANCA.”

Website Editor:  John Wayne Airport has similar restrictions.  Bob Hope Airport applied for but failed to obtain approval for a curfew.

January 26, 2015 - February 1, 2015

JWA Director to Step Down
- OC Business Journal

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet in closed session to plan the search for a successor to John Wayne Airport Director Alan Murphy, who will step down from the post on Feb. 5.

Murphy has worked for Orange County for 32 years, including 28 years with the airport, the last 15 as its director.

It will be the second high-level vacancy at JWA.  Former Assistant Airport Director Loan Leblow retired about a year ago and the position wasn’t filled, though a recruitment is underway, airport spokesperson Jenny Wedge said.

The airport spokesperson said said Murphy, 57, planned to pursue personal projects and “do a little traveling,” and doesn’t rule out a new job sometime in the future.

JWA finishes with an improved year

John Wayne Airport served 1.7% more passengers in 2014 than it did in the previous year.  The 9,386,033 passengers fell 6% below the airports record volume of 9,979,699 set in calendar 2007.  2014 was the airport's fourth busiest year with the others all reached prior to the addition of the new third terminal.

In 2014 the airport saw the uptick in passengers despite a 5.2% year over year decrease in the number of commercial aircraft operations.  Commuter flights were up by 70.8% but represent only a small fraction of JWA's paid passenger operations.

January 19 - January 25, 2015

San Diego International Airport Serves Record Number of Passengers in 2014

San Diego International Airport served a record 18.7 million passengers in 2014, the highest total since 2007. SAN also set new records for total passenger boarding and international passengers.

Last year's total of 18,756,997 passengers exceeded the previous record of 18,326,734 set in 2007 by 2.3 percent. For the year, passenger totals in 2014 increased by 5.9 percent over 2013.

SAN also served 672,972 international passengers in 2014, a 7.2 percent increase over 2013, and the third consecutive year SAN had a record-breaking increase in this category.

Bob Hope Airport sees increase in passengers
- Burbank Leader

The number of passengers traveling through Bob Hope Airport rose in November, compared to the same period in 2013, continuing a trend that began in July, according to the latest statistics.

In November, the airfield handled 325,515 passengers, compared to 321,376 in November 2013, an increase of 1.3%.

However, the tally for the period that includes the busy holiday travel season fell below the nearly 330,000 passengers airport officials had anticipated.

Other airports in the region also reported increases in passenger tallies for November. The number of travelers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by 6.4%, while there was a 3.8% hike at Orange County’s John Wayne Airport. Total passenger traffic at Ontario International Airport rose 3.4%.

Long Beach Airport saw a decrease of 5.4% in November.

Ontario airport worth much less than LO.A. is asking for, audit says
LA Tim

In Ontario's legal battle to gain control over LA/Ontario International Airport, a new audit contends that the sale price offered by Los Angeles is inflated by at least $181 million..

If Ontario wants the airport back, Los Angeles officials have said, the Inland Empire city can buy it for about $400 million.

LA/Ontario is a valuable asset, they say, and Los Angeles World Airports, which has operated the airport since 1967 along with Los Angeles International and Van Nuys, must "be made whole" and recover its investments.

But an audit of airport financial records suggests that LAWA has invested dramatically less than what it has claimed.

The accounting firm Ernst & Young conducted the review for Ontario, which has sued Los Angeles to regain control of the struggling airport, where passenger volumes have plunged about 40% since 2007.

Talks about a possible sale broke off in mid-2014, setting the stage for further proceedings in Riverside County Superior Court. Decisions on several key motions are pending.

LAX warns of possible delays from runway project
- USA Today

Officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) say required runway work may mean sporadic delays for passengers flying through the airport. The work is scheduled to begin in March and will run through June 2018.

The airport says the work will cause "rolling runway closures" during the project. In a statement, LAX adds "passengers may begin experiencing impacts as soon as this summer, such as delays or a slight increase in wait times aboard aircraft."

The project will allow LAX to meet a federal mandate that requires commercial airports to have buffer zones at the end of airport runways. The zones add are meant to provide an additional level of safety for aircraft that "overshoot, overrun or veer off a runway while landing or taking off."

LAX runways already have the buffer zones, but they require additional work to meet the federal guidelines.

A $25 million contract to begin the work was approved by the airport's board of commissioners on Thursday. LAX says runway closures will be timed to minimized disruptions, but says some delays will be tied to the project.

January 5 - January 11, 2015

Former FAA Regional Director explains Ontario Airport financing

William C. Withycombe, the FAA’s Regional Administrator for the Western-Pacific Region from 1996 until his retirement in 2012 explains the role of Ontario International Airport and its financial relationship with Los Angeles World Airports - excerpted below -  in a Press-Enterprise article.

To be clear, when Los Angeles transfers control of ONT, Ontario International Airport Authority as the new airport sponsor, must take responsibility for all ONT debt and grant obligations, as well as for the development of air service and airport property. Ontario and OIAA must also release Los Angeles from liability arising out of certain airport operations and conditions, such as any future environmental claims.
The determination of the fitness of OIAA to manage, operate and control ONT is another responsibility of the Federal Aviation Administration. It will issue a Part 139 Airport Certification after it is satisfied that the new airport sponsor is capable and ready to fulfill its responsibilities to operate the airport in the best interests of local communities, the Southern California region and the National Airspace System.

December 22 - December 28, 2014

Hawaiian Airlines adding flights for Southland travelers
- LA Times

Beginning June 11, Hawaiian Airlines, will add a second daily nonstop between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Kahului (OGG), the main airport on Maui.

The added nonstop will operate for 14 weeks using an Airbus A330-200. Prices in June start at $400 each way.

Hawaiian will also begin seasonal nonstop service to Kona (KOA), on the Big Island of Hawaii, and Lihue (LIH), on Kauai in late May.

Website Editor:
Nonstop Hawaii service would be welcome news for JWA travelers who lost their last nonstop flights to the islands in April 2008 when Aloha Airlines abruptly closed after filing for bankruptcy.

JWA passenger traffic up without more flights in November

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in November 2014 as compared to November 2013. In November 2014, the Airport served 767,315 passengers, an increase of 3.8% when compared to the November 2013 passenger traffic count of 739,031.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 1.6%.

For the eleven months year-to-date, passenger volume was up by 1.6% while the number of commercial operations dropped by 5.5%.

International passenger volume year-to-date was off by 25.4%.

December 15 - December 21, 2014

Bob Hope Airport reports higher passenger numbers
- Burbank Leader

The number of passengers at Bob Hope Airport increased by more than 5% each in September and October compared to the same period last year, the most significant increase since 2008.

Earlier this year, passenger traffic was up 1.8% in August and 1.2% in July, compared with numbers from the same months last year.

“This commission has been waiting to see these kinds of results here now for, what, seven years,” said Dan Feger, the airport's executive director.

Feger said he hoped that the increased passenger traffic was a sign of an improving economy.

In past months, Feger had suggested that part of the decline in United passengers may have been due to federally mandated safety work that had closed two of four runways at San Francisco International Airport from May through August, reducing the number of flights on the Burbank-to-San Francisco route.

Other airports in the region also reported increases in passenger tallies for October. The number of travelers at Ontario International Airport rose by 7.69%, while there was a 6.79% hike at Los Angeles International Airport. Long Beach Airport also saw a slight rise of 0.6%.

December 8 - December 14, 2014

City Council Supports Plan To Eliminate Two Runways At LGB
- Long Beach Gazette

Following an Airfield Geometric Study designed to evaluate the efficiency and safety of the airstrips and taxiways at Long Beach Airport, the City Council last week voted in support of eliminating two of the airport’s five runways.
Removing the two north-south runways won’t in any way change commercial or general aviation traffic patterns, and won't impact the city’s noise ordinance, said Reggie Harrison, interim director of LGB.
“The two runways that are recommended for elimination have not been in operation for a number of years, in great part due to them not being needed,” Harrison said.

December 1 - December 7, 2014

LAX increases market share as that of Ontario airport, others shrink
- LA Times

Most airports in the area are growing again, but figures released Monday underscore just how much Los Angeles International Airport dominates the market and continues to frustrate the goals of a lawsuit settlement to spread airline traffic across the region..

A new study presented to the Ontario International Airport Authority board shows that LAX will handle a record 71.4 million airline passengers this year and has increased its market share as of September to 76.4%, the highest in 25 years.

“The fact is that the attempt by Los Angeles to regionalize aviation in Southern California has failed miserably. We need to bring local control back to the airport.”
- Ontario Mayor Pro Tem Alan Wapner
According to airport figures, the number of passengers at LA/Ontario has increased about 4.1% during the first 10 months of this year from about 3.29 million to 3.42 million. It has been predicted that the volume will be about 4.1 million by the end of the year.

Though the number of passengers is up, the report indicates that airlines will continue to pull available seats out of the LA/Ontario market and reduce flight schedules into 2015, the eighth consecutive year that carriers have reduced capacity.

In addition to LA/Ontario, the data shows that Palm Springs International Airport and John Wayne Airport in Orange County have experienced some passenger growth since the recession, whereas Bob Hope Airport in Burbank and Long Beach Airport have had recent declines in travelers.

City taking airport feud to L.A. mayor - Press Enterprise

Ontario officials went public Monday with a request to meet with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to discuss local control of Ontario International Airport because negotiations with L.A. World Airports broke down in September.
After a meeting of the Ontario International Airport Authority on Monday, board President Alan Wapner said Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey broke off the negotiations Sept. 18 after raising the price for the airport by $200 million.
The two sides had agreed on a price, which Wapner declined to disclose. Ontario’s lead negotiator, Al Boling, got the Ontario City Council to approve the price. But when he next met with Lindsey, she added $200 million to the cost, Wapner said.
When asked if she would accept a counter-offer if Boling could get one approved, Lindsey said no, effectively ending the negotiations, Wapner said.

LB Council to study airport noise ordinance mid-January in light of talks about international flights - Signal Tribune

Residents who fought to keep airlines from expanding at Long Beach Airport in order to protect homes underneath flight paths are preparing for what may become a new battle.

The Long Beach City Council at its meeting on Nov. 11 voted unanimously (8-0) to conduct a study session on the airport’s noise ordinance mid-January after recent discussions about the potential for bringing international flights to the airport.

Earlier this year, it was revealed in a city memo that airport management had been studying the possibility of building a federal inspection services (FIS) facility for U.S. Customs and Border Protection to enable international travel. Airport staff, however, have indicated that the potential development is only in “preliminary” stages and would require a three-year-plus process.

Executives with the airport’s primary commercial airline, JetBlue Airways, have expressed interest in having international flights from Long Beach Airport, possibly to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

The airport noise ordinance, which was officially passed in 1995 after years of litigation between the City and airlines involving input from affected homeowners, allows airlines and regional commuter jets to fly only during specific time slots that are allocated in a lottery. The ordinance permits airlines to fly between the hours of 7am and 10pm or face fines that range from $100 to $300 per violation, according to the airport’s website.

Airport spokesperson Kerry Gerot sent an email to the Signal Tribune this week stating that the City is not proposing any changes to the noise ordinance regardless of the potential for a U.S. Customs facility.

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