April 14 - April 20, 2014

United to debut world's longest non-stop 787 route
- Forbes

United Airlines plans to launch the longest non-stop route with a Boeing 787 when it debuts its Los Angeles-Melbourne service in October. The flight between California and Australia will cover a distance of 7,927 miles. United plans to offer the flight six days a week.

Airport group rejects Newport's plan - OC Register
The Airport Land Use Commission’s vote is 3-2 against allowing more housing and development from being incorporated in the city’s General Plan.

Concerned about safety and noise, [the Airport Land Use Commission] an airport group on Thursday opposed plans for more housing near John Wayne Airport, something Newport Beach is pushing for.
The 3-2 vote by the Airport Land Use Commission won’t necessarily stop more housing and development from being incorporated in the city’s General Plan, a long-range document for growth.
The City Council could override the commission’s vote. Ultimately, the decision will rest with Newport Beach voters to approve or reject changes to the General Plan in November.
On Thursday, airport commissioners called the city’s changes “inconsistent” with airport planning documents.
Kari Rigoni, the commission’s executive officer, said the group, appointed by the Orange County Board of Supervisors among others, has historically expressed concern about new housing in the area bounded by Campus Drive, MacArthur Boulevard, Jamboree Road and Bristol Street.
Rigoni said aircraft noise is one issue. Another is safety, she said, because some housing proposed by the city would sit under the general aviation flight path, a route used by small planes.

April 7- April 13, 2014

John Wayne, LAX passenger traffic rose in February; Long Beach, Ontario declined
- OC Register
John Wayne and Los Angeles International airports reported an increase in passengers in February, but Long Beach and Ontario both saw declines.
In Orange County, nearly 672,000 travelers passed through John Wayne, up 2.9 percent over February 2013. LAX passenger traffic rose to nearly 4.8 million, a 6.3 percent increase.
John Wayne saw its second month of decline in international travel. The four daily flights to Mexico and one to Vancouver, British Columbia, carried just over 20,000 passengers, a 7.3 percent drop from the nearly 22,000 in February of last year.
Domestic passenger traffic, however, remains healthy, which John Wayne spokeswoman Jenny Wedge called an indication of the economic recovery.   She said Mexico demand typically declines in January and February before improving in March. She noted John Wayne had a similar drop-off in Mexico traffic in the first two months of last year.
Nearly 102,000 more international travelers flew through LAX that month, an 8.6 percent year-over-year jump. As an international port of entry, LAX is part of a growing surge in foreign visitors nationwide.
Long Beach Airport and Ontario International Airport continued to have their woes as airlines focus service on major hubs.
February traffic at Long Beach dropped to just under 196,000, a 7.6 percent year-over-year decline. Travel through Ontario fell to 286,000, 2.4 percent below last year.

March 31 - April 6, 2014

JWA and OC move towards locking in limits on travel

The airport is currently preparing an Environmental Impact Report for the proposed Settlement Agreement Amendment.  The next step in the process is the publication of a Draft EIR for public review and comment. 

Following this, the Board of Supervisors will certify the EIR and probably adopt the "Proposed Project" that was negotiated in secret between the County and Newport Beach groups.  This alternative caps the number of passengers and flights that can be served through 2030.  For the proposal and other alternatives click here.

JWA posts positive results for February

John Wayne Airport posts a 2.9% increase in passenger traffic for both the month of February and the first two months of 2014 when compared to the same periods last year.

March 10 - March 16, 2014

Planned new terminal would give Burbank Bob Hope Airport a boost
- San Bernardino Sun
From its faded carpeting to its harsh lighting to its cramped gates, Burbank Bob Hope Airport appears caught in a time warp, stuck in a bygone era. It’s a tired building lacking in amenities and familiar brands.

But there is potentially some great news for travelers. The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which runs Bob Hope, is finally serious about constructing a new terminal with all the goodies passengers expect — spacious gate areas, an efficient security screening area, better food options, plenty of natural sunlight, more restrooms and additional power outlets. The new building would still have 14 gates, like the current one, but would be nearly 150,000 square feet larger. It’s early, but airport officials guess it might cost $300 million to $400 million.

An environmental review likely will not be completed until next year, and it could be a decade or perhaps even longer before construction is completed. A new building would seemingly provide a nice boost to an airport that is no longer thriving. In 2013, Bob Hope Airport served 3.88 million passengers, a decline of 5.2 percent from the previous year. At the airport’s peak, in 2007, more than 5.9 million passengers flew through Burbank.

But a new building is not a panacea. In the past five years, airlines have moved away from serving secondary airports like Burbank, preferring instead to invest at massive hubs like Los Angeles International where they can harness economies of scale and add more flights to more destinations.

The building will be more passenger friendly, yes. But it will also be safer.

One improvement: The new building will be up to current seismic code. Another concerns the terminal’s location. At one point, the current terminal building is located just 250 feet from a runway, a distance that may have seemed OK in 1930 but it is now 500 feet shorter than the Federal Aviation Administration prefers. Burbank is still considered safe by the FAA, but the issue has nonetheless concerned airport executives for decades.
Dan Feger, who runs Burbank airport is aware that the same trends that have reduced passenger traffic at L.A./Ontario International — the Inland Empire airport has lost more than 40 percent of its annual passenger traffic since 2007 — are hurting Burbank. Feger believes the major airport trend will eventually reverse and that Burbank will again grow.

Feger and his team will continue to meet with airlines and persuade them of the airport’s strengths. But airlines, including Southwest, which gave Burbank a huge boost by adding flights 25 years ago, appear more interested in LAX, where they can attract more high-fare-paying business travelers — the kind of passengers that help an airline’s bottom line. Two years ago, American Airlines even pulled out of Burbank to focus on its LAX operation. (American has since merged with US Airways, which still flies to Burbank.)
For several years in the early 2000s, L.A.-area politicians floated the idea that facilities like Burbank and Ontario (Website Editor - and El Toro) would serve as reliever airports for LAX. That has not happened because, in spite of what some politicians wanted, airlines could not be persuaded through incentives to leave LAX.

This year, LAX likely will break its all-time record, set in 2000, of 67.3 million passengers. It will not be able to grow forever, and Feger thinks Burbank will eventually capitalize.

March 3 - March 9, 2014

JWA’s Cabo Service Set for Switch to Southwest

AirTran Airways' service from John Wayne Airport to Cabo San Lucas will switch carriers in August. AirTran parent Southwest Airlines will take over the daily, non-stop service previously offered from JWA through AirTran beginning Aug. 10.

It's offering an introductory, one-way fare of $143.

The switch to Southwest is part of a planned integration of AirTran’s operations under the parent company’s banner.

Bob Hope Airport sees more passenger traffic
- Burbank Leader

The number of passengers making their way through Bob Hope Airport in January climbed 3% from the same time a year ago, marking the second straight month of increases following a six-month string of declines.

The airfield handled 302,389 travelers during the first month of 2014, up from 293,644 during January 2013.

Airport Executive Director Dan Feger said the improvement from last year may be partially influenced by ongoing cost-cutting efforts by airlines in 2013, which included reducing the number of flights going in and out of Burbank.

The number of passengers rose in January by 3%, the number of available seats declined by 6.8% across all airlines.

Most regional airports also reported a boost in passengers for January. At Los Angeles International Airport, the number of travelers grew by 7.2% compared to January 2013, while Ontario International Airport saw a 2% uptick.

John Wayne Airport reported a 2.9% boost in passengers, while Long Beach Airport’s figures slid by 8.7%.

February 24 - March 2, 2014

JWA Posts 2.9% Gain in Traffic

Passenger traffic at John Wayne Airport was up 2.9% in January from a year earlier to 718,549, according to the latest numbers from the airport.

Southwest Airlines and its subsidiary AirTran Airways served a combined 301,776 passengers, the most for the month.

United Airlines served the second highest (104,162) followed by American Airlines (90,159).

International traffic, which comes from the airport's service to Canada and Mexico, was off about 7.4% for the month to 27,845.

Click here for previous news reports