NEWS BLOG - LATEST
Week of October 27 - November 2, 2008
Vote Yes on 1A - El Toro Info
This web site supports the creation of
a high speed rail system in California, connecting the North with the
South and the South with Las Vegas. The reasoning is simple - much of
the rest of the world has long realized that trains are a good way to
move passengers over distances that can be covered in less than a day.
A rail network saves fuel, provides weather-free hassle-free safe
transportation, and eliminates the need to expand noisy polluting
airports over the objections of their neighbors.
Prop 1A would launch such a rail project. We encourage readers to check
an article in this weekend's LA Times -
Prop 1A's bullet
train would speed L.A.'s growth.
yes vote doesn't mean that you endorse every bend in the bullet train's
planned route or every penny of its financing strategy. It simply means
that you want to give momentum to the notion that California needs
high-speed rail as soon as reasonably possible, and that you think this
is a project worth significant state investment. And investment is the
right word, since the train could begin to turn a sizable profit for
Sacramento within a few years of operation.
Airport capacity outstripping demand
as airlines cut back - Air
from the NY Times, ATA SmartBrief reports a building boom at U.S.
airports is adding vast new capacity -- just as airlines cut their
service by up to 20%. With new runways and new terminals opening across
the country, "congestion is kind of a thing of the past" for many
passengers, according to Northwest Airlines CEO Douglas M. Steenland.
But the billion-dollar construction projects are paid for with "other
people's money," says Southwest Airlines chief Gary C. Kelly, and some
within the industry are calling for a halt to the building boom.
Website Editor: This site repeatedly has reminded that the proposed El Toro
Airport would be a costly cash drain today had voters not overturned
the plans of their elected county leaders. We also question how Orange
County intends to utilize the half-billion dollar third terminal being
launched at John Wayne Airport.
Kogerman named to state parks board
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named Bill
Kogerman to the State Park and Recreation Commission. The nomination is
subject to Senate confirmation.
Kogerman led the volunteer effort to pass Orange County Measure
F, the Safe and Healthy Communities Act, in 2000. Passage of
Measure F stalled county government's push to convert the former Marine
Corps Air Station, El Toro to a commercial airport.
Kogerman then played a major role in the 2002 passage of Measure W,
the Orange Central Park and Nature Preserve Initiative.
Measure W changed zoning of the former base in the County General Plan
to low density non-aviation uses. Subsequently, the property
was annexed to the City of Irvine, rezoned
for a mix of uses including the Orange County Great Park and sold
by the Navy.
Kogerman now serves as a member of the board of directors of the Great
Local air travel drops 3.4 percent from
last year. - El Toro Info Site report
Data collected from Los Angeles International, John Wayne, Bob Hope,
LA/Ontario, Long Beach and Palm Springs airports show a collective drop
of 3.4 percent for the first nine months of this year when compared
LAX, which took
the brunt of the slide in air travel after September 11, 2001, is
holding up better in the current travel
its local competitors . There are two principal reasons. 1)
International travel is off by only 0.3 percent with most of the
falloff occurring in domestic travel. 2) For economic reasons, airlines
are concentrating their flights at major hubs versus using smaller
Regional air travel in 2008
below pre-9-11 level -
El Toro Info Site report
For the first eight months of 2008, a total of 59,271,103
passengers used the six commercial airports in the Southern California
Association of Governments (SCAG) transportation planning region. This
was 1.5 percent fewer than the number that flew in the same period
ending August 2001.
Regional Transportation Plan for 2001 predicted that aviation
demand would increase by an average of 2.7 percent per year, producing
20 percent growth by now.
slump in actual air travel demand illustrates the danger of forecasting
continuous growth and basing costly airport development plans - such as
for El Toro - on these assumptions.
Appellate case on [Santa Monica] airport jet ban to be heard
Nov. 19 - The Argonaut
The Ninth District Appellate Court will hear arguments from Santa
Monica officials on the controversy surrounding the city's decision to
prohibit certain aircraft from using its municipal airport on
Wednesday, November 19th in Pasadena.
Santa Monica is seeking judicial relief in the appellate court
following a lower court ruling that forbade the city from implementing
an ordinance that would ban larger, faster jets from Santa Monica
The Federal Aviation Administration filed a restraining order against
the city on April 28th after the ban was passed to prevent the
ordinance from taking effect.
Website Editor: The
city had planned to begin enforcing the ban for jets that have approach
speeds of between 139 and 191 mph, including aircraft popular with
executives, such as the Gulfstream IV, Bombardier Challenger 604 and
Cessna Citation X.
a big hit in September
Passenger volume at
LA/Ontario airport for September was 26 percent less than in the same
month last year. The loss of ExpressJet service to 15 non-stop
destinations hurt the airport.
With nine month volume at 4,934,309 passengers, the airport has a long
way to go before hitting the 10
million passenger threshold at which officials planned to add a third
LAX reports a slow September
September domestic and
international travel at LAX both were off by over 7 percent from 2007
Year to date, the airport has seen 2 percent fewer travelers.
Palmdale has its best month since
reopening, but . . .
It is too little
and too late . . . After United Airlines doubled its number of flights
from Palmdale, using smaller aircraft, passenger volume increased in
September to the highest figure since the airport reopened.
minuscule volume - 2,359 passengers - is unlikely
to change the airline's decision to abandon the money losing route.
of October 20 - October 26, 2008
Long Beach Airport sees end of summer recovery
Long Beach Airport posted a 4.6 percent
increase in traffic in August over the previous year. In September the
airport saw a 2.3 percent gain over the same month the year before.
For the nine months ending September 30, total travel still lags the
same period in 2007 by 1.3 percent.
JWA continues its slump
Airport served 687,603 passengers in September in a continuation of a
year long slump in traffic. The month was 12.1 percent behind last
September's travel statistics.
For the first
nine months of 2008, the airport served 9.3 percent fewer passengers
than last year.
Bob Hope Airport traffic is down.
For the month of August, Bob Hope Airport saw 15.15
percent fewer travelers than in the same month last year. Year to
date travel is off by 5.95 percent.
Week of October 13 - October 19, 2008
Los Angeles region posts above average fare increases
Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports an average
air fare increase of 4.4 percent from
the 1st quarter 2007 to the 1st quarter 2008, based on U.S.
domestic itinerary fares, round-trip or one-way for which no return is
purchased at the nation' top 100 airports, ranked by percent change in
average domestic itinerary fare.
The airports in
the Los Angeles region posted an average increase of 5.8 percent
on this basis.
Orange County led the region with an 8.9 percent fare increase.
Week of October 6 - October 12, 2008
Airports Suffer Terminal Illness - Wall
At 8:45 a.m. last Friday, the drop off curb and the halls of Terminal 2
at Ontario International Airport in California were virtually empty.
Twenty security screeners stood ready to check only a handful of
passengers. . .
This loss of passengers is creating a vicious economic spiral that is
griping airports across the country.
The flight cuts will make the arport more expensive for airlines.
Most airports set landing fees and terminal rents charged to
airlines based on debt payments and operating costs.
Airport staff are trying to cut costs, recognizing that higher prices
could lead to even bigger airline schedule cuts.
Asked if LAX would have to bail out Ontario, Los Angeles World Airports
Executive Director Marie Lindsey said "I sure hope not."
Website Editor: Had El Toro
Airport been built, it's multi-billion dollar cost and huge debt
service requirements would be an economic disaster for Orange County.
Las Vegas losing air passengers
For the first 8 months of 2008, passenger traffic
at Las Vegas MCCarran International Airport fell 9.9 percent below
In more normal times, flights
between LV and Southern California were numerous enough to keep one
medium sized airport busy.
LAX cargo traffic sees 16% drop - Daily Breeze
The slumping economy and record high fuel prices led to a 16 percent
drop in air cargo deliveries at Los Angeles International Airport in
August, compared to figures posted last year.
The significant decline signals the possibility that retail outlets
will sell fewer high-end gifts during the upcoming holiday season.
"We expect things to improve as we close in on Christmas, but given the
current state of the economy, we probably won't see the same freight
levels that we saw last year," said Mark Thorpe, director of air
services for Los Angeles World Airports, the city agency that operates
A year-to-date assessment of air cargo shipments was not immediately
provided by airport officials. Air freight was down a similar 14.6
percent at LA/Ontario International Airport, which is also owned by
Van Nuys Airport Holds Public
Workshop Regarding Noisier
Aircraft Phaseout Project - Los Angeles World
Airports press release
On Tuesday, October 7, starting at 3 p.m., the Van Nuys Airport (VNY)
will hold a public meeting associated with the Draft Environmental
Impact Report (EIR) that the airport is preparing for the Noisier
Aircraft Phaseout project at VNY.
Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the department of the City of Los
Angeles that owns and operates VNY, has released the Draft EIR
which is required to evaluate the potential impacts associated with the
Bailout jitters reaching into
state and county coffers - Total
Orange County CFO Bob Franz confirmed that capital projects - such as
plans to sell bonds for the expansion of John Wayne Airport or the
South County Courthouse - could face challenges. But Franz said those
are not immediate and could be solved when, and if , markets return to
S. D. Airport Authority adopts Land Use Compatibility Plan for MCAS
The San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, acting in its capacity
as the Airport Land Use Commission (ALUC) for San Diego County, adopted
the Airport Land Use Compatibility Plan (ALUCP) for Marine Corps Air
Station (MCAS) Miramar. The purpose of an ALUCP is to protect the
safety and general welfare of people within the vicinity of airports,
as well as the general public.
The ALUCP for MCAS Miramar was developed after many months of dialogue
with the military, pilots, local jurisdictions and property owners
surrounding the air station through the Airport Land Use Compatibility
Plan Technical Advisory Group (ATAG). The ALUC hearing on the MCAS
Miramar ALUCP prompted discussion about the plan’s potential impacts on
the development potential of property that falls within the safety
compatibility zones around the airport.
Orange County's Aiport Land Use
Commission drew up similar state-mandated land use compatability plans
environs of John Wayne Airport, Los Alamitos Air Base and the
Fullerton Municipal Airport. The
ALUC also kept a contentious land use plan restricting development
around MCAS El Toro for several years after the last military plane had
departed and the base was deactivated.
Week of September 29 - October 5,
Solidarity needed for JWA fight -
Daily Pilot editorial
Newport Beach and Costa Mesa did the sensible thing recently when the
two cities agreed to share the cost of fighting John Wayne Airport
expansion and hold annual meetings to discuss airport issues.
For years, Newport Beach and Costa Mesa officials have opposed
increases in the amount of passengers flying out of John Wayne, saying
that the noise flights generate worsens residents’ quality of life.
But Newport Beach has, historically, taken the lead in fighting John
The joint effort means that a united front will be presented to the
Orange County Board of Supervisors, the Federal Aviation Administration
and other decision-making bodies. This adds up to more bargaining power.
And that’s exactly what the Newport-Mesa community needs in this
tooth-and-nail fight over expansion at John Wayne Airport.
In Chicago, Private Firm Is to Run
Midway Airport - The New York (NY)
Midway Airport is poised to become the first large privately run hub
airport in the country, officials said Tuesday, after an investment
group bid $2.52 billion to win rights to a long-term lease.
The deal, with Midway Investment and Development Company, requires
final approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Chicago
City Council, which is set to vote Oct. 8.
Almost all commercial airports in the United States are owned and
operated by local or state governments, and Midway is no exception. But
Midway is eligible for leasing because the city applied to the F.A.A.
to take part in an experimental program begun about 12 years ago to
explore privatization as a means to generate capital for improvements.
Congress has allowed the agency to permit up to five airports to take
part in the program, and if the Midway deal is approved, it will be the
Website Editor: In
2004, former Orange County Supervisor Chuck Smith proposed to sell John
Wayne Airport to raise money for the county but his idea was shot
for talks on airports -
In an unprecedented meeting of the city councils of Newport Beach and
Costa Mesa, the two cities agreed to share the cost of fighting John
Wayne Airport expansion and hold annual meetings to discuss airport
issues among other actions.
Council members at the meeting Tuesday night called it “historic” and
“monumental,” saying that presenting a united front to the Orange
County Board of Supervisors, the Federal Aviation Administration and
other decision-making bodies would give the cities more bargaining
The night’s other order of business was to hear a presentation on the
results of a study commissioned by both cities using $200,000 in funds
from the Orange County Transportation Authority.
The study included a survey of about 2,500 John Wayne travelers who
were asked where they were coming from, where they were going and why.
Lead consultant Peggy Ducey determined that most passengers come from
three pockets: the Disneyland
area in Anaheim, Newport-Mesa and a portion of South County.
Getting the Newport-Mesa and South County travelers to shuttle out to
Ontario Airport instead of John Wayne might be difficult, but the
Anaheim demographic could be swayed, according to the study.
People headed to the pocket around Anaheim are mostly vacationers
headed to Disneyland or the Anaheim Convention Center that could be
convinced to fly into Ontario if there were an easy, low-cost way to
get from the airport to Anaheim, according to Ducey. More below. . .
NPB-CM hear "Go Local" presentation - El
Toro Info Site report
The Newport Beach and Costa Mesa City
Councils received a presentation Tuesday on a study of whether Orange
County passengers could be induced to use some airport other than John
here for the Power Point slides.
Much of the demographic data collected on JWA passengers duplicates
other studies done by the airport. This study found that 6 percent of
those who use the Orange County airport are from other counties, a
figure than observed previously.
That's still not a large number of outsiders who can be encouraged to
go away. Any significant diversion of demand at the airport would
require that Orange County business and pleasure travelers be shuttled
somewhere else. Where?
principal alternate airport used by those surveyed was LAX, an airport
whose neighbors also want passengers to go someplace else.
A Costa Mesa blogger commenting on the study said "The idea is that
you'd go to John Wayne Airport, enter the terminal and get on a train
(or bus) that would take you to an airport in San Bernardino or
Those who drive to JWA, or take the study's suggested Metrolink to JWA,
may want to board a plane right then and there rather than be taken to
San Bernardino or Riverside.
The study concludes (slide 15) that the estimated trip time
incorporating rail transit is approximately 60 percent longer than by
driving. Subjectively, I expect that driving from home to a transit
link at JWA, parking, and waiting for a train from there to another
airport would take much longer than that.
The report suggests transit service to shift Disneyland
visitors and North County residents to other airports in the short
run, and creating a rail link to Las Vegas in the long run, all
ideas that have received favorably comment on this website in the past.
Newport Beach and Costa Mesa to join in
opposing JWA growth
The City of Newport Beach has historically maintained firm
control over efforts to limit John Wayne Airport. NPB now is allowing
Costa Mesa a seat at the table.
The two city councils are poised to sign a Memorandum of
Understanding at a joint meeting this
Tuesday, designed to establish a set of cooperative practices and
enumerate objectives regarding the future of the airport. The
Other than in
general terms regarding protecting "quality of life", the agreement is
carefully vague regarding limiting the number of passengers that can be
served. A new third-terminal is being designed and built at JWA with
additional gates and parking. While it is referred to politically as an "improvement"
rather than an expansion, the project will increase the airport's
that no actions are taken at JWA which would negatively alter the
quality of life, and that any such actions are otherwise in the best
long term interests, of the residents of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa;
that there be no modification to the County's airport noise curfew
that no actions would be taken that could lead to the construction of a
second air carrier runway at JWA or extension of the existing runway(s);
any expansion of JWA beyond its current (2008) boundary footprint;
any significant reduction in general aviation operations/facilities
[Reduction in general aviation releases space for commercial service];
cooperation with the Orange County Board of Supervisors and other
public agencies, actively support development and implementation of
proposals that enable Orange County residents and businesses to
conveniently access underused out-of-county airports using roadway
improvements and air passenger rail links.
The existing agreement between Newport Beach and the county that limits
the number of passengers and flights is scheduled to expire in 2015.
The MOU seeks to increase Newport Beach's bargaining power in
negotiations for an extension of the agreement.
Blow to airport regionalization - Pasadena
Star News Opinion
state of the economy, the cost of fuel and the loss of a federal grant,
it's not a huge surprise that United Airlines decided to stop flying
out of L.A./Palmdale Regional Airport in December.
perhaps, but truly unfortunate to the greater goal of regionalizing Los
Angeles' heavy air traffic. This is a blow to
air-traffic regionalization, but it shouldn't be its death knell.
of air traffic is not just a good idea; it's the right way to grow air
traffic in Southern California, where the main airport is already
The economy will
recover, and when it does, airport officials must again encourage a
major air carrier to return to Palmdale.
Click here for previous news reports