NEWS BLOG - LATEST
December 2 - December 8, 2013
Travelers say Palm Springs' airport has its own place in the sun
The number of passengers using Palm Springs International Airport in
the last decade has grown 55.5%, with many travelers favoring it over
bigger, more congested hubs.
A steady stream of visitors from around the globe who have helped turn
this former military base into one of the fastest-growing commercial
airports in the West and an increasingly popular alternative to
Southern California's larger, more congested aviation hubs.
Last year alone, the passenger count jumped more than 14% to almost
1.73 million, a blistering pace by industry standards. And, if Federal
Aviation Administration projections prove accurate, Palm Springs will
have an additional 1 million passengers by 2030.
The rapid growth stands in contrast to far busier commercial airports
in Arizona, Nevada and Southern California, including Los Angeles International, that have
struggled to expand during years of economic head winds. LA/Ontario International Airport —
an hour's drive west of Palm Springs — has lost more than a third of
its passengers and a large chunk of its flight schedule since 2007.
Though tiny compared with LAX, the airport's courtyard and terminals
offer upscale shops, eateries and a show business-themed restaurant.
Ground transportation and parking — the latter at $12 a day compared
with up to $30 at LAX — are steps from the main concourse. Clearing the
security checkpoints typically takes only a few minutes.
Travelers come from 500 cities worldwide, according to the airport, and
10 air carriers now serve 21 urban areas across the United States and
Canada, which has become Palm Springs International's fastest-growing
"It's a fantastic airport to operate out of," said Robert Palmer, a
spokesman for WestJet, a low-cost Canadian airline based in Calgary
that has steadily added service to Palm Springs. "It's tremendously
convenient for our customers."
Like other cities with flight paths over residential neighborhoods,
Palm Springs has had to deal with noise complaints over the years. But
it has handled them without resorting to the kind of flight and
passenger caps that have been imposed on Long Beach Airport and John Wayne Airport
in Orange County. More than a decade ago, after citizens complained,
the airport embarked on a multimillion-dollar effort to provide sound
insulation for homes and other noise abatement measures.
Travelers like Palm Springs International's selection of low-cost,
nonstop flights, which aren't available elsewhere in the region, most
notably at LA/Ontario, the
next closest airport. Palm Springs offers 50% more direct flights to
cities than Ontario.
November 25 - December 1, 2013
Aging Hub Waits to Take Off - Wall
Los Angeles International Airport's
Struggles to Modernize Threaten Its Standing
The airport also faces political and construction problems that
threaten a nearly $5 billion modernization drive.
For Los Angeles and LAX, consistently ranked one of the worst in
passenger satisfaction among the top 20 international hubs, the stakes
are big. Rival U.S. airports with upgraded facilities are competing
hard to siphon off both domestic and international traffic, while a big
chunk of the region's economic future is tied to LAX's role as the
leading gateway to fast-growing Asian tourism and other markets.
"We're a world-class airport by accident," said Eric Garcetti, Los
Angeles's new mayor. "People need to fly in and out of LAX," he said,
but beyond the new terminal, "there's nothing else that's world-class
This year, just six years after completion, one of LAX's main runways
started cracking, a setback that could slow operations just as the
airport tries to get its modernization off the ground. The city is
suing the runway's designers and contractors.
Meanwhile, Mr. Garcetti has joined airport neighbors in opposing
another runway project sought by U.S. regulators—and backed by the
airport's director—intended to enhance safety and efficiency.
Critics say the legal and contractual problems could undermine the
airport's position as America's primary aerial connection to
fast-growing Pacific markets. San Francisco, Seattle and Dallas are
among cities eager to attract such traffic.
Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased;
general aviation decreased.
Passenger volume continued to recover in October 2013 as
compared to October 2012. In October 2013, the Airport served
791,710 passengers, an increase of 1.9% when compared to the October
2012 passenger traffic count of 776,658.
aviation activity, which accounted for 63.9%
of the total aircraft operations during October 2013, decreased 11.2%
compared to October 2012.
November 18 - November 24, 2013
John Wayne Airport releases upbeat economic impact study of
Mexico air service - JWA
John Wayne Airport announces the results of an economic impact study of
air service from Mexico to Orange County. The
study, conducted for JWA by InterVISTAS Consulting LLC, found that
the total economic output in the region generated by JWA's Mexico air
service is $131 million.
"This study shows the significant value air service from Mexico brings
to the region's economy," said Airport Director Alan L. Murphy. "With
our partners AirTran and Interjet, we look forward to continuing to
provide a convenient gateway for business and leisure travelers to
reach the heart of Southern California."
Nonstop service between Orange County and Mexico (Cabo San Lucas and
Mexico City) was introduced by AirTran, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Southwest Airlines, in June 2012. Interjet began daily service to
Guadalajara and Mexico City in October 2012.
Lucy Dunn, president and chief executive officer of the Orange County
Business Council, offered the following comment on the service, "In
just one year, the AirTran and Interjet flights from Mexico have
generated amazing results and underscored the critical role that John
Wayne Airport plays in fueling Orange County's economic engine."
"This study confirms what OCVA expected all along: JWA's Mexico air
service generates significant visitor expenditures in the Orange County
area, nearly $50 million annually," said Ed Fuller, president and chief
executive officer of the Orange County Visitors Association. He
continued, "JWA's direct nonstop flights from Cabo San Lucas,
Guadalajara and Mexico City are a very welcome addition to the Orange
County tourism community."
The Earth shifts, John Wayne
adjusts - OC
Which way is north?
Earth has two North Poles. There's the geographic North Pole, which is
the chunk of icy land made famous by explorer Robert Peary and Santa
There is also a magnetic North Pole, the place the compass on your
smart phone points that tracks the magnetic changes in the earth's core.
The geographic North Pole moves slowly based on shifts in the earth's
tectonic plates. The magnetic North Pole, however, is galloping across
the top of the world, heading toward Russia at a rate of about 40 miles
Although a few other airports around the world also have changed their
numbering in past years, John Wayne is the first one in Southern
California to do it.
In John Wayne's case,
that means the runway orientation that was 190 degrees in 1965 is now
closer to 200 degrees and the one that is 10 degrees is now more like
20 degrees. So the runways will be redesignated 20R/2L and 2R/20L next
Officials at Long Beach Airport and San Diego International said they
had not renumbered their runways and didn't have any plans to do so.
Los Angeles International did not respond to a request for comment.
November 4 - November 10, 2013
Counts are not flying high at Bob Hope Airport -
The total number of passengers at Bob Hope Airport continues its
Bob Hope Airport saw its summer slide continue into autumn, as the
number of passengers traveling through the airport fell by more than 7%
The airport handled 300,860 passengers in September, an almost 7.2%
decrease compared to 324,176 in September 2012, according to statistics
released by the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority on Monday.
Airport Executive Director Dan Feger said that although the overall
summer trend followed what airfield officials expected, each month was
below what was projected in the airport's annual budget.
Meanwhile, other airports in the region reported a wide range of
passenger totals in September. Los Angeles International Airport and
John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana saw 5% and 3% hikes, respectively.
However, Ontario Airport reported an 8.4% decline and Long Beach
Airport had an 8.6% drop.
October 28 - November 3, 2013
JWA sees continued recovery
passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in September 2013 as
to September 2012. In September 2013, the Airport served 728,971
passengers, an increase of 3.0% when compared to the September 2012
traffic count of 707,510.
aircraft operations increased 3.4%, while Commuter aircraft operations
decreased 34.9% when compared to the levels recorded in September 2012.
Long Beach Airport flies high
amid downturn for others -
Beach Press Telegram
“Our vision was to provide the highest level of customer service and
create a space which is resortlike,” airport director Mario Rodriguez
said. “We wanted to create something world class without spending a
bunch of money.”
The results have been encouraging. The new concourse was named the 2013
Aviation Project of the Year by the California Transportation
But even before the new terminal opened, the airport was doing well.
Notably, the number of departures at Long Beach Airport rose 1.3
percent between 2007 and 2012, according to calculations by researchers
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
It may not seem like a lot, but during that period, as fuels costs rose
and the economy faltered, airlines slashed flights at midsize airports
nationwide. At L.A./Ontario
International Airport, the number of departures dropped by about
half, while at Burbank Bob Hope Airport,
departures fell by about 25 percent, M.I.T. researchers concluded.
Being customer friendly has helped, but Long Beach airport has
countered trends for a couple of other key reasons. First, it has one
dominant airline — Jetblue Airways — that considers the West Coast its
center of operations and has invested heavily at the airport. And
second, Long Beach is located in a demographically strong area filled
with a near perfect combination of leisure and business travelers.
Long Beach’s noise ordinance also helps. Because Jetblue has the vast
majority of takeoff rights, called slots, it is insulated against new
entrants on its routes. Jetblue has the rights to 32 daily
departures. Among carriers operating large jets. US Airways has the
second most slots, with five.
“To some effect it has limited the competition at that airport,” said
Michael D. Wittman, an author of the M.I.T. study comparing midsize
Airlines generally refer to revenue per passenger as “Yield.” “If
the airlines didn’t have the yield they have, we would look like
Ontario,” said Rodriguez, the airport manager. “Our airlines have
extremely high yield. That’s why they are here. It’s a free market
economy. Airlines will serve the high yielding market. We are here
because the airlines have a high yield on the product. The proof is
there. We are steady as she goes. Ontario has dropped.”
ONTARIO: Canceled flights cause for concern at Inland airport -
Canceled flights aren’t as big a deal at other airports, because people
can usually get on another airline or flight within an hour or two.
At ONT, they’re a big problem, because passengers don’t have a lot of
alternatives. Fewer and fewer flights are being offered at the Inland
Even Southwest, Ontario’s biggest carrier, has slashed flights from 61
to 30 per day.
Ontario International has lost more than 40 percent of its passenger
volume since 2007 because of airline cutbacks.
Unfortunately, Los Angeles World Airports seems to be setting up
Ontario to fail. At an Oct. 1 Board of Airport Commissioners meeting,
ONT’s part-time manager, Jess Romo, implied Inland residents need to
put up or shut up.
“We’ve heard a lot of criticism” from Inland residents, Romo said. “We
want folks out there to use your airport (ONT).”
So if Inland residents fly from other SoCal airports because their ONT
flight is canceled, or because flights are $100 to $200 more at ONT,
LAWA officials will blame them for ONT’s decline.
here for previous news reports