NEWS BLOG - LATEST
July 21 - July 27, 2014
JWA posts June increase in utilization
Airline passenger traffic
at John Wayne Airport increased in June 2014 as compared to June 2013.
In June 2014, the Airport served 820,986 passengers.
Commercial aircraft operations decreased 5.0%, while Commuter aircraft
operations increased 93.4% when compared to the levels recorded in June
General aviation activity, which accounted for 69.6% of the total
aircraft operations during June 2014, increased 18.2% when compared to
Almost all of the commuter aircraft flights are on Skywest Airlines
Bombardier CRJ700 aircraft configured for 70 passengers or less.
Skywest operates as a partner to several major carriers such as United,
US Air, American, Delta and Alaska. The small jets fly from John
Wayne Airport to destinations around the west such as San Francisco,
Denver and Salt Lake City.
Work suspended on Bob Hope Airport EIR - Burbank
City officials have temporarily suspended work on a report studying the
environmental impacts of constructing a new 14-gate terminal at Bob
Hope Airport following unresolved differences between the city of
Burbank and the airport.
The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority last week voted to
defer considering making a payment of nearly $800,000 for the report,
which includes the second half of the cost of the nearly $1.4 million
report on the proposed terminal as well as potential development of the
58-acre parcel, known as the “B6” site, until Aug. 18.
The first payment was made when the city began preparing the report
The authority will reconsider making the second payment next month,
giving officials time to try to resolve their differences. The two
parties have yet to reach consensus on the project’s description, as
well as how many alternatives and what specific alternatives to study
in the report, said airport spokesman Victor Gill.
One disagreement, according to the airport’s Executive Director Dan
Feger, is whether to study potential governance changes in the report.
July 7 - July 13, 2014
LAX to spend $200 million to meet federal runway safety standards
- LA Times
In a project designed to bring Los Angeles International Airport into
compliance with federal safety standards, officials will spend about
$200 million to expand and refurbish runway-buffer zones..
The plan calls for enhancing safety areas at the ends and sides of all
four runways serving the nation's third-busiest airport. The flat,
graded expanses provide aircraft with a critical buffer should they
undershoot, overrun or veer off a runway.
Federal Aviation Administration officials have been working with
airports to help them meet the standards by December 2015.
Last year, airport officials proposed separating LAX's two northern
runways and adding a center taxiway, but community opposition and a
lawsuit threaten the project.
June 30 - July 6, 2014
Grand Jury asks county supervisors to face difficult questions.
On June 27, the Orange County Grand
Jury issued a report entitled Maximizing the Benefits of John Wayne
Airport to Better Serve Orange County.
Essentially the Grand Jury asks county supervisors to consider whether
the airport should serve the county, its businesses and the flying
public, or the airport's neighbors in Newport Beach. It notes
that the settlement agreement which limits the utilization of the
county's airport will not allow it to meet projected future demand for
The county is preparing an environmental impact report in preparation
for extending the limits on the airport's utilization. The
options in the EIR were developed in confidential negotiations between
county officials and Newport Beach groups.
The grand jurors looked to the future at new technology to reduce
aircraft noise and ask that the airport limits be adjusted
Suggestions are made for lengthening
the runway in ways that were reported here in 2000.
The report, which so far has had little publicity in either the
Register or Daily Pilot, raised questions last discussed more than a
dozen years ago during the debate over converting the former El Toro
Marine Corps Air Station to commercial aviation use. At that
time, county leaders and Newport Beach interests were adamant that the
county needed considerably more airport capacity to sustain its
Then as now, airport neighbors objected to expanding that capacity in
their back yards.
Newport Beach wary of report pushing expansion of airport
O.C. panel says caps on John Wayne
Airport's operations restrict its economic impact
recent report by the Orange County Grand Jury suggesting that John
Wayne Airport's operating constraints are blunting its potential impact
on the local economy is ruffling feathers in Newport Beach, where
residents have long fought to keep the roar of jets over their homes to
The report, which was released last week, comes as the county is in the
midst of the environmental review phase of a process to extend the
agreement that places caps on the airport's operations.
The grand jury, found that the operational limits keep the airport from
capitalizing on growing demand for flights and becoming a greater
contributor to a more robust county economy.
"The Settlement Agreement operating constraints significantly impair
John Wayne Airport's ability to serve future demand," the report says.
The document recommends that county and airport officials consider
opening up the curfews once newer models of jets are introduced that
are quieter during takeoff.
Among the report's other recommendations are that officials explore
changing the airport's name to John Wayne International Airport, and
building a cellphone waiting lot for cars picking up passengers.
It also suggests lowering the airport's long-term parking fees to
offset what it found were 3% to 24% more expensive commercial fares
compared to other local airports.
Supervisor John Moorlach, whose district includes Newport Beach, said
he hadn't had a chance to thoroughly review the report, but the title,
"Maximizing the Benefits of John Wayne Airport to Better Serve Orange
County," was disconcerting. He said he was disappointed that the grand
jury hadn't spoken with him for the report.
"We're trying to find a fair balance between air carriers and the
residents," he said. "And we're working diligently to have an extension
to the settlement agreement that's fair to everybody."
Airport spokeswoman Courtney Wiercioch said that staff members were
working with the county to weigh possible responses to go before the
supervisors and that she couldn't comment on its findings.
Local airports battle for
international flights - OC Register
Competition to add flights to Mexico and other popular destinations
south of the border is heating up among Southern California’s regional
Those smaller airports – which include John Wayne Airport, Long Beach
Airport, Ontario International Airport, Palm Springs International
Airport and San Bernardino International Airport – have seen some
airlines cut service to marginal markets.
Mergers and liquidations have consolidated airlines and their fleets,
reducing competition and pushing airfares upward. Airlines have
concentrated operations in large, fortress hubs such as Los Angeles
International, which has seen solid passenger gains.
Airport executives are looking to compensate by expanding service south
of the border. They see tourists spending money again and immigrants
whose wealth has grown in recent years.
June 23 - June 29, 2014
Grand opening held for new transportation center at Bob Hope
Airport - Burbank Leader
Intermodal transportation center hailed as a 'milestone for the region'
Officials applauded the grand opening of a new $112-million
transportation center at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank on Friday, called
by many a significant step toward linking multiple types of
transportation with the airfield.
The 520,000-square foot facility offers three levels with more than
1,000 parking spaces and 11 car rental companies. The center,
which will open officially next month, also features a 19-foot-high
covered walkway with moving sidewalks, leading to the airport terminals.
Additional upcoming improvements include a pedestrian bridge over
Empire Avenue from the Metrolink station south of the airport to the
second story of the transportation center. The bridge will enter the
design phase this fall, said Don Sepulveda, executive officer for
regional rail for Metro.
Funds from Measure R, a countywide half-cent sales tax, paired with
state money and a grant from Metro will pay for the $14-million bridge
project. Sepulveda said the project could take between three and four
years to complete.
In addition to the bridge, a new $3.75-million Metrolink stop on the
Antelope Valley line will open on San Fernando Road north of the
airport in January.
The station marks the first direct rail connection for more than one
million residents from northern L.A. County to the airport, said
Michael Cano, transportation deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor
“At this station, you’ll have 30 new trains to serve the airport and
businesses around [it],” Cano said. “You’ll also be serving employees
that work there.”
Is relying on JetBlue a smart bet for Long Beach Airport? - OC
Long Beach Airport and JetBlue, the airport’s biggest carrier by far,
seem to be a perfect fit. Both are stylish, popular with travelers and
get lots of good press.
But is there a risk in having nearly all of the airport’s eggs in
JetBlue’s stylish basket? A recent decline is passenger numbers at the
airport might indicate exactly that.
And the experience of some other big U.S. airports like Cincinnati,
Memphis, Tenn., and Pittsburgh, Pa., may hold a lesson for the folks
who run our local airfield.
Like Long Beach, each of those three airports was dominated by a single
carrier. That was great when times were good. But when the airlines cut
service drastically, due to mergers, economic downtown or merely a
shift in strategy, each of the three airports was left with far fewer
flights, and facilities that were oversized, underused and costly to
[There is a] big difference: flight limits. The number of commercial
flights at Long Beach is set at just 41 big jets a day (there are
additional slots for commuter planes). Each of those 41 slots is being
used, 34 of them by JetBlue.
If JetBlue were to stop using any of its slots, those unused slots
would become available for competitors. JetBlue obviously doesn’t want
that. So the airline has masterfully managed its schedule, carefully
flying each slot enough to ensure it stays safely in its fold.
But where and how the slots are used has changed over time. When
JetBlue arrived in Long Beach in 2002, it focused largely on long-haul
flights to the East Coast, using 150-passenger Airbus A320s. Today, the
schedule is dominated by short-haul flights up and down the coast and
around the West, many on 100-passenger Embraer 190 jets.
It’s pretty easy to see where the passenger decline comes from: Smaller
planes carry fewer people.
Website Editor: The change
seems to put LGB in more direct competition with John Wayne Airport.
Airline passenger traffic at JWA continues to recover
Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased
in May 2014 as compared to May 2013. In May 2014, the Airport
served 800,721 passengers, an increase of 0.1% when compared to the May
2013 passenger traffic count of 799,755.
The total number of passengers served year-to-date increased by 1.7%.
Commercial aircraft operations decreased 6.6%, while Commuter aircraft
operations increased 65.8% when compared to the levels recorded in May
reports for the first quarter of 2014 show an increase in CNEL
noise levels of less than 1 decibel during the past year at the most
likely to be impacted monitoring stations in Newport Beach.
June 16 - June 22, 2014
LAX to expand FlyAway bus service to Santa Monica and Hollywood
- LA Times
New FlyAway airport bus stops in Santa Monica and Hollywood will charge
$8 each way and begin as soon as summer, the airport announced this
The L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners voted Monday to expand FlyAway
buses that serve Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, Van Nuys,
Westwood and the La Brea stop on the Expo Line. The idea is to give
fliers the option of using public transit and relieve congestion at the
FlyAway buses served almost 1.5 million passengers last year, according
to the airport.
New FlyAway options come as L.A. grapples with bringing a rail option
to LAX. An MTA report this month proposes a $1.7-billion project to
bring a train and new light-rail station to the airport. The current
Green Line rail option takes passengers 1-1/2 miles short of the
airport and requires fliers to hop a shuttle bus to complete the trip.
Will public transit to the airport make a difference? Laura J. Nelson
writes in a L.A. TImes story about the MTA report: "Despite growing
pressure from the public and elected officials to close the LAX rail
gap, just 1-2% of airport trips are projected to be made on Metro rail
and buses by 2035, according to the Metro analysis.
"About 57% of trips will be made in cars, 33% in taxis, limos and
shuttles and 8% by FlyAway bus."
June 9 - June 15, 2014
JetBlue thinking global in Long Beach -
Long Beach Airport could start seeing JetBlue flights headed south – as
in south of the U.S. border.
JetBlue Airways Corp. is in the “early stages” of discussions with Long
Beach officials on plans to bring international flights to Long Beach
Airport, the airline’s president said in an interview Friday.
“We are very keen to build international service out of Long Beach that
would require the building of a (U.S.) Customs and Border Protection
facility,” said JetBlue President Robin Hayes.
JetBlue is the biggest airline at Long Beach Airport, where it has up
to 32 flights daily to cities including New York, Boston, Las Vegas and
San Francisco. Hayes didn’t say which international destinations are
under consideration, but said Long Beach would be a hub for flights to
Mexico, Central America and South America.
Long Beach regulates the number of daily flights, a step taken by the
city years ago to limit noise. Hayes wants to reallocate the existing
slots so that the airline offers more international flights.
“We are not looking for more slots than what we have today,” he
Hayes said the West Coast has too many “short-haul” regional flights.
“There is a lot of capacity between LAX, Orange County and Long Beach.
We think opening up an international operation from Long Beach is a way
to make it work,” Hayes said. “This is why we are committed to work
with Long Beach and Customs and Border Protection and other agencies to
get it built.”
Website Editor: This
development is happening just as John Wayne Airport is experiencing a
drop in Mexican travel and the loss of one of its international
carriers. See report below.
Interjet ends Mexico flights at John Wayne -
Service will be stopped on July 20; airport officials are seeking a
Mexican airline Interjet is leaving John Wayne Airport less than two
years after launching its service to Mexico in October 2012. The
airline will discontinue Orange County service on July 20, airport
officials said Thursday.
Courtney Wiercioch, a John Wayne spokeswoman, said officials are
actively seeking a replacement and have been engaged in “very
productive conversations” with Volaris, a discount Mexican carrier.
Interjet’s once-a-day service to Mexico City and Guadalajara debuted
with great fanfare at John Wayne in October 2012. It was the Mexican
carrier’s first foray into Southern California and became the second
airline after Southwest’s AirTran to offer Mexico service in Orange
The airline, which describes itself as the JetBlue of Mexico, hoped to
tap into Southern California’s large and growing Hispanic travel market
and ultimately attract other travel markets.
John Wayne’s international traffic, which includes one WestJet flight a
day to Vancouver, B.C., initially surged after the Interjet and AirTran
Mexico flights were launched.
The international passenger tally including AirTran grew from 5,600
passengers a month at the beginning of 2012 to 33,000 by December of
that year. But the international travel numbers took a dramatic
downturn last fall. In March, international traffic plunged to 23,500
Thursday’s announcement came the day after Orange County tourism
officials announced an expansion into Mexico, opening offices in Mexico
City and Guadalajara. They cited John Wayne’s Mexico service as one of
the reasons for the expansion.
Ed Fuller, chief executive of the Orange County Visitors Association,
said he didn’t know about the Interjet situation, but it wouldn’t
change his plans.
“We get the benefit from Los Angeles airports also,” he said. “We are
trying to build the market – and it’s a big market.”
House rejects bill for Bob Hope Airport curfew -
San Diego Jewish World
The House of Representatives came within a few votes of allowing the
Bob Hope Airport to adopt a curfew on an amendment to the
Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations
Act proposed by Reps. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) Brad Sherman (D-Sherman
Oaks), and Henry Waxman (D-Los Angeles). The amendment was defeated by
a narrow vote of 208 to 212. This issue previously was voted on
in 2011, and failed then by a vote of 178-243.
This amendment would clarify that Bob Hope Airport should be exempted
from the Airport Noise and Capacity Act (ANCA), like other similarly
situated airports were at the time of its passage. In the case of the
Bob Hope Airport, this was one of the first airports in the country to
impose a curfew. The language would allow Burbank Airport to adopt
non-discriminatory curfews applicable to operators from 10 p.m. to 7
The legislation would apply only to Bob Hope Airport and addresses
concerns that the FAA cited in rejecting Burbank’s Part 161 application
for a curfew – that it would add congestion to an already crowded
airspace and it would impact the national system of airports because it
would cause system wide delays.
Las Vegas courting foreign airlines for direct service -
Las Vegas Review Journal
Officials with McCarran International Airport are working to convince
foreign airlines to provide direct flights from Asia to the Las Vegas
facility. Officials say there is demand for the service, pointing to an
uptick in flights from Asia that stop over in Seattle.
Website Editor - See report
below about direct flights from Texas to bypass LAX.
American to offer nonstop service to China, Hong Kong from
Dallas-Ft. Worth - Ft.
American Airlines plans to launch nonstop service from Dallas/Fort
Worth Airport to Shanghai and Hong Kong. "These slots can help the
Chinese people connect to South America and Latin America routes very
easily," said Maxine Peng, general manager of American's China
division. Over the past five years, airlines at the airport have
started flying to more than 20 new international destinations.
Website Editor: With newer aircraft,
LAX is losing some of its former hold on trans-Pacific traffic to
June 2 - June 8, 2014
Travel up at most SoCal Airports in April -
International travel, specifically from Asia, boosts numbers for LAX.
If things seemed a little crowded at Los Angeles International Airport
in April, it wasn’t your imagination. Passenger growth surged 8.5
percent compared to April a year ago.
John Wayne Airport, Ontario International Airport and Bob Hope Airport
in Burbank also experienced year-over-year growth in April. Only Long
Beach Airport, which continues to face headwinds as airlines redeploy
equipment to other routes or destinations, declined.
LAX benefited from strong international demand. Traffic for passengers
traveling abroad jumped 10.6 percent over April 2014. Foreign travel
was up 8.7 percent for the first four months of the year.
The U.S. Commerce Department predicted in April that international
travel to the U.S. would grow 3.5 percent this year to 72.2 million
LAX is expected to be a particular beneficiary because much of that
increase will come from Asia. U.S. government tourism officials
forecast travel from China will jump 21 percent this year; Taiwan, 15
percent; India, 12 percent and South Korea, 7 percent.
John Wayne’s overall traffic increased 2.2 percent year-over-year,
despite seeing a continued slump in international travel, which fell
That decline, however, was a major improvement over March, which saw a
22.5 percent drop in travel to Mexico and Canada, the only two foreign
destinations the airport serves. The government lowered its estimates
for travel from Mexico and Canada this year due to underperforming
Ontario, which has seen passenger traffic decline precipitously for the
last seven years, eked out a 1.5 percent gain in April. Mexican
low-cost air carrier Volaris instituted twice-a-week service to
Guadalajara on April 10.
Burbank also grew 1.5 percent.
Long Beach fell 6.4 percent over April 2013 and is down 6.9 percent
year to date.
May 26 - June 1, 2014
Orange County looks at limiting JWA utilization with new EIR
Confidential negotiations between
county officials and representatives from Newport Beach resulted in a
"Proposed Project" to allow JWA utilization to expand to a maximum of
12.5 million annual passengers, MAP, in 2021. However, in the
course of preparing a Draft Environmental Impact Report, DEIR, the
parties inserted a new 2025 Horizon Year Alternative into the study
that allows for no more than 11.8 MAP through 2025. A new environmental
study would be required to expand beyond that point.
The DEIR lists this new alternative as the "Envornmentally Superior
Alternative." As such, it is likely to be approved by the Board of
Supervisors. It was analyzed "in the interest of minimizing
environmental impacts." In other words, it is the lowest growth
alternative that the parties to the negotiations believe will pass
federal approval under the Airport Noise and Capacity Act.
The currently limits on JWA allow a service level of 10.8 MAP.
According to the DEIR, the airport has a capacity of 16.9 MAP
(Alternative A), the FAA Terminal Area Forecast shows traffic of 12.8
MAP (Alternative C) and the air carriers using JWA have submitted
requests "deliniated" into a 15.0 MAP alternative B.
The DEIR assumes no significant changes to the airport or its access
roads over the study period.
JWA continues recovery in April despite fewer commercial flights
passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in April 2014 as
April 2013. In April 2014, the Airport served 781,451 passengers, an
of 2.2% when compared to the April 2013 passenger traffic count of
aircraft operations decreased 5.9%, while Commuter aircraft operations
increased 31.9% when compared to the levels recorded in April
2013. The trend towards fewer noisey large flights has continued
for the year-to-date.
here for previous news reports