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.

November 24 - November 30, 2014

Cessna airplane makes emergency landing in Great Park
- OC Register

A small Cessna airplane made an emergency landing in the Orange County Great Park on Thursday afternoon after experiencing engine trouble, Orange County fire officials said.
The California Highway Patrol received a distress call from the plane, which was traveling from Long Beach Airport to McClellan-Palomar Airport in Carlsbad, around 2:30 p.m. Thursday. CHP then notified OCFA, which sent a response team to the Great Park and John Wayne Airport – the pilot’s first choice for an emergency landing.
After ruling out John Wayne and considering the 73 toll road, the pilot chose an airstrip east of the Great Park’s old airplane hangars. The Cessna touched down safely at 2:50 p.m.

Website Editor:  Comments from certain individuals in Newport regarding El Toro Airport are sure to follow.

John Wayne Airport sees more passengers in October with fewer large flights

Airline passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport increased in October 2014 as compared to October 2013. In October 2014, the Airport served 812,298 passengers, an increase of 2.6% when compared to the October 2013 passenger traffic count of 791,710.

Commercial aircraft operations decreased 4.1%, while commuter aircraft operations increased 86.7% when compared to October 2013 levels.

JWA Named to Condé Nast List

John Wayne Airport was named the fifth best airport in the country by readers of Condé Nast Traveler, the magazine said.

Readers lauded JWA for being an international airport that is easy to navigate and for a new customs facility for Southwest Airlines flights to Mexico.

Of airports in California, Long Beach Airport bested John Wayne by one slot, coming in fourth. Readers liked the classic retro look of its terminal, a new palm-tree lined concourse, wine bar, and its main airline—also a reader favorite—JetBlue Airways.

Los Angeles International Airport narrowly escaped being named worst in the country: it was one spot from the cellar, just above LaGuardia Airport and just below John F. Kennedy International Airport, both in New York.

November 10 - November 16, 2014

Bob Hope Airport Officials Mull Name Change To Boost Passenger Traffic
- CBS.com

Is the name of a legendary comedian keeping travelers from using the fifth-busiest airport in Southern California?  Officials with Bob Hope Airport in Burbank are considering a public image makeover amid declining passenger traffic at the 85-year-old terminal.

The Bob Hope Airport adopted its moniker in 2003, the same year the comedy legend died. It marked the sixth name change for the airport since its opening in 1930.

But for a hub that caters to an estimated 4.9 million travelers per year with more than 70 flights daily on six major carriers, many visitors to Southern California – and even some residents – still don’t know exactly where the airport is located.

Executives fear the lack of any geographic reference in the airport’s name could be confusing out-of-state visitors who may not realize the landing strip sits just miles from one of the Southland’s busiest media districts.

Executive Director Dan Feger told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO officials are considering changing the hub’s name to Bob Hope Burbank Hollywood Airport – provided there’s no conflict with Tinseltown.

Website Editor: Will Orange County follow suit and rename its airport John Wayne Disneyland International Airport?

As JetBlue seeks to add international flights at Long Beach Airport, councilman defends noise ordinance
- Press-Telegram
It was a few words in a six-page brochure seeking candidates for the vacant Long Beach Airport director position. But the words, stating the new director will be expected to “influence discussion and garner community support for a federal customs facility,” are leading to a defense of the city’s 19-year-old airport noise ordinance.

At issue is the desire by JetBlue Airways Corp. to open a customs facility to accommodate international air travel at the Long Beach Airport, where 41 commercial and 25 commuter flights are permitted daily.

JetBlue, the largest airline that flies out of the airport, is in initial discussions with the city to add international flights.

Southwest Seeks JWA Flight to Puerto Vallarta
- OC Register

John Wayne Airport’s largest airline has filed an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation to add service to Puerto Vallarta beginning June 7, 2015.

Southwest Airlines would fly a single daily nonstop, according to the company.

November 3 - November 9, 2014

Duck and Cover! The Most Terrifying Airport Runways in the U.S. - Yahoo

This small, private airport is set among highbrow residential communities such as Newport Beach, Irvine, and Costa Mesa. As a result, officials implemented strict noise regulations for flights. Sound safe? To comply with these rules, departing flights at John Wayne Airport must perform a steep climb at full throttle followed by a sudden thrust reduction, inducing panic in passengers. Takeoffs here have been compared to a missile launch.

Website Editor:  This is just another reminder that the Board of Supervisors gave Newport Beach a veto over any lengthening of the runway towards the south, essentially perpetuating the situation forever regardless of future technology or needs.

October 27 - November 2, 2014

John Wayne seeks more Mexico flights
- OC Register

In an effort to offer new nonstop flights to Mexico from John Wayne Airport, the county will offer financial incentive packages to airlines.
This is the third time the county Board of Supervisors has voted to offer airlines a rent credit in exchange for nonstop service between John Wayne Airport and Mexico. The program approved by supervisors Tuesday will provide two incentives: a $300,000 rent credit for terminal space costs to any carrier that runs flights to a new destination in Mexico at least five days a week during the first year of service; and a second package that proposes either a $250,000 credit for minimum four-day-a-week nonstop service or a $150,000 credit for at least three days a week.
The program is smaller than the set of three $300,000 rent credits approved in 2011 in the first incentive program. Two of those credits went to to AirTran for nonstop flights to Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City, and the other went to Interjet for Guadalajara flights. In 2013, supervisors extended those already awarded incentives for an additional year.
Currently, the only flights out of John Wayne to Mexico are to Cabo San Lucas and Mexico City through AirTran, which was acquired by Southwest Airlines, according to airport spokeswoman Courtney Wiercioch. Interjet pulled out of the airport in July.
Wiercioch said Southwest could apply for the incentive for a new destination.
John Wayne Airport tried to reduce the costs of international service further by applying for a port of entry designation, according to a staff report. But that was denied in a letter sent to the airport Aug. 8 from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
The airport has to reimburse the federal government for inspection services related to processing international passengers coming into the U.S. Those costs are “substantial,” the airport wrote in a report, and “are being passed to those air carriers providing international service and utilizing federal facilitation and inspection services.”
With a new designation, the federal government would have shouldered the costs of inspection equipment, personnel, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection services, the staff report states.
In a letter to the airport, John Wagner, acting assistant commissioner at the Office of Field Operations with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, said despite a “welcome rebound in trade and travel,” the increase in airport traffic nationwide has “imposed many demands on an organization whose frontline strength did not expand at the same rate.”
Airport spokeswoman Jenny Wedge said the airport will keep trying for a designation that’s supported by the business community.
“We will continue to work on gaining that Port of Entry designation and have support letters written on our behalf and in support of Port of Entry from the OC Business Council and OC Visitors Association that we submitted with our application,” Wedge said in an email.

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