August 17 - August 23, 2015

JWA continues to recover

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in July 2015 when compared to July 2014. In July 2015, the Airport served 927,934 passengers, an increase of 10.8% when compared with the July 2014 passenger traffic count of 837,702.
Commercial aircraft operations increased 5.9%, while commuter aircraft operations decreased 6.6% when compared to July 2014 levels.

Year-to-date passenger volume is up 5.8% over last year.

August 10 - August 16, 2015

Local control just the beginning in difficult ONT turnaround-  Inland Daily Bulletin
Now that the city of Los Angeles has agreed to h
and over the airport’s management from Los Angeles World Airports to the Ontario International Airport Authority, the onus of halting ONT’s downward spiral and converting it to long-term success rests on the authority’s shoulders.

Crucial to ONT’s revival, as Rep. Norma Torres, San Bernardino County CEO Greg Devereaux and others have pointed out, will be that inland residents use the local airport — even when it costs more or involves another stop compared to LAX.

There’s little doubt that ONT suffered from LAWA’s neglect the past few years, but the Great Recession and airlines’ migration toward major hubs were also factors in the airport’s drop from 7.2 million passengers in 2007 to 4.1 million in 2014.

Everyone agrees that ONT needs lower fees to attract new airlines and more flights from the carriers that already use the airport.

The airport authority plans to hire a “high-powered,” experienced airport manager to run ONT. That is certainly wise. As good a job as Ontario and the authority did in getting L.A. to agree to a deal, they are unprepared to manage a major airport.

That new ONT director will need to implement a many-faceted approach to building ONT traffic.

We’ll dredge up a couple of much more modest ground transportation plans we’ve pitched in past editorials: a comfortable, air-conditioned shuttle bus from ONT to Disneyland, and smaller shuttles between ONT and the Metrolink stations in Rancho Cucamonga and east Ontario.

Website Editor:  We have pointed out the need for ground transportation to Ontario many times, and especially to and from Disneyland.  Newport Beach also has been an advocate for this, to reduce air travel at John Wayne.  They will be delighted to help.

August 3 - August 9, 2015

Settlement agreement announced to transfer Ontario Airport
- Ontario media release

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Ontario Mayor pro Tem Alan D. Wapner announced a Settlement Agreement Term Sheet has been signed which will lead to the transfer of ownership of LA/Ontario International Airport (ONT) to the Ontario International Airport Authority (OIAA) subject to approvals by the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, Los Angeles City Council, Ontario City Council, the OIAA and the Federal Aviation Administration.

In a joint statement issued at a news conference at ONT, Garcetti and Wapner said the Settlement Term Sheet adheres to the premise that Los Angeles and Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) will be reimbursed to the extent needed to make them whole regarding investments they have made in ONT, while providing job protection to the airport's current employees. A long form settlement agreement consistent with the initial term sheet will be prepared within 60-days.  A formal approval process is expected to begin in October 2015, with the entire process, including FAA approval, expected to be completed within one year.

SCAG tunes 2040 regional aviation forecasts to the Newport Beach - OC Settlement Agreement

The Southern California Association of Government staff reports, "John Wayne Airport (SNA): 12.5 MAP is the agreed upon forecast demand by the County of Orange, John Wayne Airport staff and SCAG staff for 2040. The range of numbers previously shown (9.6 - 13.8 MAP) was meant for discussion purposes. Staff recognizes the Settlement Agreement as being legally enforceable, and this collaboration is largely an administrative fix to the draft forecast." 

In other words, Orange County has asked that the planners use the JWA caps, negotiated with Newport Beach, limiting the airport to 12.5 MAP in 2030 as though they represent a permanent demand level. 

The regional airports' shares of aviation demand in the SCAG plan will be as follows with both LAX and John Wayne serving smaller parts of the total demand in the future:

July 27 - August 2, 2015

LAX could see more than 100 million travelers a year by 2040
- LA Times

New aviation forecasts predict that Los Angeles International Airport, already straining under a record number of passengers, could have more than 100 million travelers annually by 2040, far more than the ceiling set by a 2006 court settlement that will soon expire.

According to projections released last week, the Southern California Assn. of Governments estimates that between 78.9 million and 100.7 million passengers a year will eventually pass through the nation's second-busiest commercial airport. LAX, the leading international gateway on the West Coast, had 70.7 million passengers last year.

Overall, the regional planning agency predicts that a dozen commercial airports within its six-county jurisdiction will handle between 136 million and 138 million travelers annually by 2040.

The forecast represents at least a 55% increase in air travelers since 2013, but the estimate is significantly less than the prediction of 170 million annual passengers by 2030 that the association made more than a decade ago.

Researchers said the downward revisions stemmed from slowing population growth and events since 9/11 such as sharp increases in fuel costs and the worst economic recession since World War II.

The projections for other major airports in the region indicate that the Burbank Airport will have 6.3 million to 7.3 million passengers a year by 2040; Long Beach 5 million to 6.2 million; LA/Ontario International 7.2 million to 19 million; and John Wayne Airport in Orange County 9.6 million to 13.8 million.

John Wayne, however, has an official cap of 12.5 million annual passengers that expires in 2030.

SCAG is using the new projections to prepare the aviation element of the association's 2016-2040 Regional Transportation Plan, which includes airports in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties.

Committee members were particularly interested in how long Los Angeles World Airports, which operates LAX, would honor the 2006 court settlement with airport neighbors that set a cap of 78.9 million annual passengers but expires in 2020. The agreement stemmed from a lawsuit challenging the airport redevelopment plan of former Mayor James Hahn.

The 100-million-travelers forecast is important for LAX, which has surpassed its previous record of 67.3 million passengers set in 2000. The growth combined with new airport construction is already causing heavy traffic congestion in the terminal area during peak travel times and has raised concerns that surrounding city streets will become inadequate in the future.

SCAG's other forecasts show that Oxnard Airport in Ventura County and Imperial County Airport each could have 200,000 annual airline passengers by 2040, while Palmdale Regional Airport, which is now closed, might have up to 1.5 million.

July 13 - July 19, 2015

Passenger numbers tick up at Bob Hope Airport
- Burbank Leader
There was a 2.1% rise in the number of passengers traveling through the Bob Hope Airport in May compared to the same month last year, according to airfield officials.

The hike in passenger count continues a trend that has had officials cautiously optimistic about the future as they continue to court added flights and airlines to the San Fernando Valley’s only commercial airfield and also contemplate a rebranding campaign to attract more travelers, especially from east of the Rockies.

The airport has seen four straight months of increases in passenger numbers, following declines of less than 2% in both December and January.

Other airports in the region reported varying passenger tallies for May. The number of travelers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by 4.5%. There was also a 4.9% hike at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, and a 3.5% increase at Ontario International Airport. However, Long Beach Airport saw a 13.5% decrease for the month.

Airport Authority, Burbank City Council talk new terminal - Burbank Leader

There were a few tense moments during a joint meeting between the Burbank City Council and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority board on Wednesday evening to discuss a proposed 355,000 square foot 14-gate replacement terminal at Bob Hope Airport.

However, the meeting seemed to strike an encouraging note as council members and Burbank residents, as well as a few residents from neighboring communities, inquired about the airport’s latest proposal, which had been sent to Burbank officials Monday and was made public hours before the meeting.

The airport would prefer to build the terminal on the 49-acre “adjacent property,” which is largely vacant and located north of the existing terminal. But the city holds an easement on that site, barring airport use, which would need to be released.

The airport plans to evaluate an alternative site to comply with state environmental-review requirements. That site, known as the “southwest quadrant,” is used by the airport’s cargo carriers, but could have fewer environmental impacts because plans for that site call for maintaining existing vehicular traffic patterns.

SCAG works on forecasts for 2014

The Southern California Association of Governements is developing another Regional Transportation Plan after missing the boat on all previous forecasts of commercial aviation demand in the region.

Probably to the satisfaction of Newport Beach residents who oppose full utilization of John Wayne Airport, the SCAG forecast for 2040 projects John Wayne Airport at only 9.6 MAP (Million Annual Passesngers). 

A Settlement Agreement between Orange County and Newport Beach allows up to 12.5 MAP utilization after 2035.  The Orange County airport has a capacity estimated by planners of 16.9 MAP. The airport served a peak load of 9.6 MAP in 2005, prior to adding a large third terminal.

SCAG is accepting comments on the 2016 Program Environmental Impact Report which has already generated comment from several members of the Aviation Transportation Advisory Committee.

Regional map

July 6 - July 12, 2015

Battle for local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport takes off
- Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
From Sacramento to the Riverside Superior Court House, the battle for local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport is taking off this week.

On Wednesday, attorneys for Los Angeles and Ontario will be in court for a motion by Los Angeles to protect certain documents attorneys for the Inland delegation requested during discovery.

About the same time, Ontario City Manager Al Boling and San Bernardino County CEO Greg Devereaux will be in Sacramento to provide testimony to a state Senate subcommittee on ONT-related legislation that has already cleared the Assembly.

The Governance and Finance Subcommittee will discuss Assembly Bill 1455 authored by Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez, D-Chino, and Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles, which allows Ontario to secure the bonds from future revenues and charges from the airport. Although the bill doesn’t transfer the airport to Ontario, it creates the framework for financing if a transfer were to occur.

It comes after a new regional transportation forecast that projects ONT will handle between 12 million and 22 million annual passengers by 2040.

In a move to urge Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to sit down to reach an amicable solution, the Ontario International Airport Authority last week sent out a letter – signed by 38 mayors and boards of supervisors for San Bernardino and Riverside counties – asking Garcetti to facilitate transfer of the airport.

In a separate item, Ontario and Los Angeles will be in Riverside Superior Court this morning for a mandatory settlement conference. Neither party is allowed to discuss the details of the meeting.

At the meeting, the authority also voted to oppose the draft aviation demand forecast, saying it contradicts efforts to redistribute air traffic throughout the region. Southern California’s Association of Government’s Aviation Technical Advisory Committee released a forecast for the region’s airport by 2040.

In the forecast, ONT is expected to have at most 22 million annual passengers while LAX is expected to have a range of 82.9 million and 99.6 million passengers. LAX had 71 million passengers in 2014.

In the draft forecast, air traffic at John Wayne Airport, which had 10.2 million passengers last year, is expected to shrink to 9.6 million, Wapner noted.

“Does SCAG still support regionalization of aviation?” he said. “If we do, then we need to come up with some definitive ways of making that occur. That was the part that didn’t happen last time.”

June 29 - July 5, 2015

JWA Air Service Development
- JWA News

John Wayne Airport and the Orange County economy continue their close relationship as both show signs of strong growth in 2015. Last year, JWA served over 9.3 million passengers and recently reported that its year-over-year growth in passengers for the first five months of 2015 is a hefty 5.2%. Based on airline schedules for the remainder of the year, JWA is on track to match – or perhaps surpass – record passenger levels it set in 2007.

Orange County to St. Louis flights to begin in Fall

St. Louis Lambert Field is celebrating the launch of three new non-stop flights this week: Austin, TX (AUS), Portland, OR (PDX) and Jackson, TN (MKL). Lambert will also debut new service to John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, CA on Southwest Airlines in November.

Port of Entry Update
- JWA News

John Wayne Airport (JWA) continues to pursue a Port of Entry designation from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Since JWA’s initial request to CBP in November 2013, the Airport has worked closely with members of Orange County’s Congressional delegation, along with the Orange County Visitors Association, Orange County Business Council, U.S. Travel Association and other advocates to obtain Port of Entry designation.

In February 2015, Orange County Representatives Loretta Sanchez, Dana Rohrabacher, Ed Royce and Mimi Walters introduced legislation, H.R. 1051, that would direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to designate John Wayne Airport as a CBP Port of Entry. In May, a delegation from the Orange County Business Council, along with Orange County Board of Supervisors Chairman Todd Spitzer, met with CBP to advocate in support of the Airport’s request for Port of Entry designation.

Continued operation as User Fee Airport places JWA at a competitive disadvantage with respect to maintaining current, and attracting new, international service. CBP designation is important because it will allow JWA to compete on a level playing field – both financially and operationally – with other airports which currently hold Port of Entry status.  (See Long Beach story below.)

International Flights At Long Beach Airport Land Back At City Council
- Gazettes.com
City management is asking the City Council next Tuesday to decide whether to start the work necessary to decide whether Long Beach should ask for a U.S. Customs Facility at Long Beach Airport. The facility would allow for international flights — something sought by the airport’s primary commercial tenant, JetBlue Airways.
JetBlue currently flies to Mexico, the Caribbean and South America from its East Coast hubs. Airline officials have said there is an interest in flying to the Mexican Caribbean from the West Coast.

JetBlue and Long Beach officials have been discussing the possibility of international flights at least since 2013. In November that year, former Airport Director Mario Rodriguez sent a memo to City Manager Pat West detailing the issue, saying it would benefit current tenants, but not necessarily the airport itself.

“The Airport’s main focus is to retain the integrity of the Noise Ordinance, while developing a financially sustainable model that will not affect current or future financial forecasts,” the memo says. “…Guarantees (e.g. partial airline funding or airport/airline residual agreements) should be obtained from the user airline(s) to mitigate the Airport’s financial exposure. In other words, the facility will need to be sustainable by generating additional revenues within the bounds of the Noise Ordinance.”

June 8 - June 14, 2015

Airport curfew measure defeated
- Burbank Leader

A proposal that would have allowed a mandatory nighttime curfew at Bob Hope Airport failed to gain the support needed to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) offered the amendment to a House Appropriations bill last week. It would have barred funding for enforcement of the law that prevents Bob Hope Airport officials from imposing a ban on flights between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., the latest in a long-running battle for such restrictions.

The airport in 2009 completed a nine-year, multimillion dollar noise study as part of a request that the Federal Aviation Administration allow officials to enact the overnight curfew, but the FAA denied the request.

The airfield has a voluntary rule restricting takeoffs and landings of commercial flights between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. daily, except for those due to emergencies, weather or air-traffic-control delays. The curfew does not apply to cargo jets or private planes.

Bothered By Aircraft Noise In Southern California? Here's A Chance For Input. - Forbes
The FAA announced yesterday a proposal to change dozens of existing air traffic procedures in Southern California with new satellite-based procedures.  These new procedures, part of the Next Generation Air Transportation System or NextGen, would be more precise and affect air traffic operations at 11 airports in Southern California.  NextGen is a nationwide FAA initiative to improve the air traffic control system.  The announcement affecting Southern California is contained in a draft environmental assessment – the procedures are proposed, not final – and the FAA is requesting community input.  So, if noise has been an issue for you, now is a time to review the new procedures, review their impact in your community, meet with FAA experts and provide input.

According to the FAA, “the project includes 109 new satellite-based procedures – 50 departures, 37 arrivals and 22 approach procedures that guide aircraft down until they’re very close to their destination airports.  The project also expands the number of entry and exit points into and out of the Southern California airspace, which is like creating more on- and off-ramps in the sky.”  In its press release the FAA claims that it conducted noise modeling at 175,000 locations and that “the proposed action would not result in any significant or reportable noise impacts.”  The affected airports are:  Bob Hope (Burbank) Airport (BUR), Camarillo Airport (CMA), Mc Clellan-Palomar Airport (Carlsbad) (CRQ), Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL), Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Long Beach Airport (Daugherty Field) (LGB), Camp Pendleton MCAS (Munn Field) Airport (NFG), Point Mugu Naval Air Station (NTD), North Island Naval Air Station (NZY), Ontario International Airport (ONT), Oxnard Airport (OXR), Palm Springs International Airport (PSP), San Diego International Airport (SAN), Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA), Brown Field Municipal Airport (SDM), Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO), John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport (TRM), Bermuda Dunes (UDD), Miramar Marine Corps Air Station (NKX) and Van Nuys Airport (VNY).

FAA noise analyses and community perception of those changes are not always the same.  So it’s important if aircraft noise is an issue, or if you fear that it may become an issue, to take the opportunity offered by the FAA.  Information on the proposed changes and opportunities for comment can be found here.   The FAA is also offering public workshops  in 11 locations potentially affected by the proposed changes.  The public can attend workshops anytime between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Next session: June 16: Santa Ana. McFadden Intermediate School, 2701 S. Raitt St., Santa Ana, CA 92704

June 1 - June 7, 2015

Passenger numbers rise at Bob Hope Airport for third straight month
- Burbank Leader

The April statistics surpassed airport projections by nearly 14,000 passengers and were slightly higher than the numbers from April 2013. Dan Feger, the airport’s executive director, said officials are hopeful that passenger traffic statistics for May will also be in line with the higher numbers from two years ago.

For 2015, so far, the number of passengers is up 2% from where it stood after the first four months of 2014, with a total of more than 1.25 million passengers, compared to less than 1.23 million passengers a year ago.

Other airports in the region reported varying passenger tallies for April. The number of travelers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by 3.1%. There was also a 5.7% hike at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, and a 4.0% increase at Ontario International Airport. However, Long Beach Airport saw an 8.8% decrease for the month.

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