March 9 - March 15, 2015

Alaska Airlines seeks goverment approval for Mexico flights from JWA

Alaska Airlines submitted its application to begin nonstop service from Orange County, California, to Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The flights are pending approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Mexico Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC). 

Southwest airlines currently flies the same two routes from JWA.

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.

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