NEWS BLOG - LATEST
August 18 - August 24, 2014
Travelers decline at Bob Hope Airport -
The number of passengers at Bob Hope Airport dipped by almost 1% in
June compared to a year ago, according to the latest report.
That followed a 3.43% decrease in passengers in May.
For the first six months of this year, the airport has handled roughly
1.89 million passengers, a 1.45% decrease from about 1.91 million
passengers during the same time period last year.
Passenger tallies were on the rise at other airports in the region in
June, except Long Beach Airport, which reported a 2.8% decline.
The number of passengers at Los Angeles International Airport rose by
6.7%, while there was a 5.8% hike at Ontario International Airport and
a 1.2% uptick at John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
August 11 - August 17, 2014
Freeing Ontario Airport won't be cheap, fast or easy -
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s willingness to transfer control of
Ontario International Airport from the city of L.A. to a local airport
authority gave Inland residents reason to cheer.
The airport has lost nearly 50 percent of its passenger volume since
2007 under the oversight of Los Angeles World Airports, a division of
Los Angeles city government.
Ontario officials believe that with local control, they can begin to
revive the airport through cost-cutting, airline incentives, better
marketing and other measures.
But even with Garcetti backing local-control, transferring the airport
from L.A. to the fledgling Ontario International Airport Authority is
no simple matter.
He will have to convince the L.A. City Council, and perhaps the L.A.
Board of Airport Commissioners, to go along. Even with talks under way,
reaching an agreement is likely to take time and consummate diplomacy.
L.A. officials need to be assured the city will be made whole on its
Even before Garcetti went public with his support for local control of
ONT, Los Angeles and Ontario officials were trying to negotiate an
agreement on how such a transfer could take place.
At the same time, Ontario’s lawsuit against L.A. for alleged
mismanagement and failure to attract more airlines and flights to
Ontario continues in Riverside County Superior Court. More
. . .
August 4 - August 10, 2014
John Wayne Airport can do more, grand jury finds -
The Orange County Board of Supervisors would usually have 90 days,
which would be late September in this case, to either agree or disagree
with grand jury's recommendations. The county executive officer,
however, has requested a six-month extension, which would give them
until the end of the year. (See yesterday's website article below)
John Wayne Airport’s flights and parking are expensive, and if it
wasn’t hampered by decades-old [regulatory] structures, it could make
the county’s economy move and work faster.
The grand jury recommended extending one runway to accommodate heavier
planes, lowering long-term parking fees, instituting policies to woo
more business and leisure travelers, and building a special lot for
motorists waiting to pick up passengers.
Supervisor John Moorloch, whose district includes neighboring Newport
Beach, said he found the grand jury recommendations baffling. “It
doesn’t reflect what the community is pursuing,” he said. “Increasing
use of Ontario Airport has been the focus, and that’s where it should
Website Editor: We agreed with
utilizing Ontario airport first when Newport Beach pushed for a
commercial airport at the former El Toro Marine Corps Air Station and
we still support greater utilization of Ontario. However, the inland
airport is not readily accessible from much of Orange County and little
has been done to improve the access.
The report comes at a critical juncture. Late next month, the Orange
County Board of Supervisors is expected to approve an
environmental study of a proposed amendment to the landmark
Settlement Agreement that has capped flights and passenger levels since
1985. The amendment, considered crucial to those who live under the
flight path, also reinforces nighttime flight curfews at the regional
The report took aim at the pending Settlement Agreement in several
areas. In one, they referenced an airfare study that concluded, “Orange
County passengers can expect little or no airfare relief in the future
if the Settlement Agreement continues to limit the number of flights
and passengers in the face of growing demand for air travel.”
The grand jury didn’t explain why its report coincided with the pending
Settlement Agreement. The panel also doesn’t, as a rule, make itself
available for interviews.
Melinda Seely, who heads a group working to curb airport expansion, was
interviewed. The Newport Beach resident said she was surprised and
puzzled by the grand jury’s recommendations. “We have been
working so hard to contain the airport at its current levels,” said
Seely, the president of AirFair. When she read the report, she said,
“it was like what planet are they on?”
County puts off dealing with Grand Jury recommendations for John Wayne
On June 27, the Orange
County Grand Jury released a report entitled Maximizing the Benefits of John Wayne
Airport to Better Serve Orange County.
July 7, Supervisor John Moorlach, whose district includes Newport Beach
and Costa Mesa, posted this message on his Internet blog:
it appears that our current Orange County Grand Jury missed the point
of finding an appropriate balance, did not consider the recent impact
of the economy on air travel, and underestimated the tremendous amount
of work done by local community groups, the city of Newport Beach and
the County, including my office. I guess that’s what happens when
nineteen people get to be experts for twelve months."
On July 17,
Michael Giancola, County Executive Officer, requested that the
Presiding Judge of the Superior Court grant a 6 month extension for the
County's response to the Grand Jury without providing reasons for the
delay. Presumably this will excuse the County, Airport Manager and
Board of Supervisors from dealing with the Grand Jury recommendations
until after the County - Newport Beach negotiated limits on the
utilization of JWA have moved forward towards adoption.
Traffic soars 6.5% at Los
Angeles International -
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has reported that total
passenger traffic during the first six months of 2014 rose 6.5% to
34,336,315 passengers from 32,217,517 during the same period last year.
While there was a 5.6% growth in domestic passengers to 25,062,714 from
23,715,708 last year, international traffic grew by 9% to 9,273,601
passengers from 8,501,809 in 2014.
Air cargo tonnage levels stayed about the same with 951,772 during the
first six months of this year compared to 950,783 during the same
period last year, while air mail tonnage decreased 1.3% to 35,613
tonnes from 36,115 tonnes in 2014, and freight was slightly up 0.16% to
916,159 tonnes this year from 914,668 tons in 2013.
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.
here for previous news reports