John Wayne Airport (JWA) is located along the northern boundary of the City of Newport Beach. Residential and commercial uses are located directly below the airport’s primary departure pattern for commercial and general aviation aircraft. Monitoring and mitigating the airport’s operations and related impacts, and attempting to ensure the airport does not expand, will always be top priorities for the City and its residents.
JWA began as a private landing strip in the 1920s. As the population of Orange County and the Southern California region steadily increased over the years, so did the demand for, and nature of, air transportation. JWA now serves nearly 10 million passengers each year, with general aviation, commercial aircraft and private jets sharing its runway, terminal and storage facilities. The airport’s growth has brought a number of adverse impacts - such as noise, traffic and aircraft emissions – that pose significant threats to the quality of life for Newport Beach residents.
In addition, the Newport Beach City Council and a number of Orange County cities (known as the “Corridor Cities”) located along the airport’s arrival and departure corridors have publicly agreed to oppose:
- Any expansion of JWA beyond its current physical footprint;
- A second commercial runway or the extension of the existing runway;
- Any significant reduction in general aviation operations / facilities, which could allow for more commercial aircraft use; and
- Any detrimental change to air carrier or general aviation noise ordinances.
Newport Beach believes that the coordinated, collective efforts of local citizen groups, the Corridor Cities, and the County are essential to controlling the adverse impacts of JWA and protecting the quality of life here for this and future generations of residents. There are numerous governmental committees and community groups that meet regularly to discuss and address airport issues.
If you would like more information about the City’s efforts, please contact City Manager Dave Kiff at (949) 644-3001.
Settlement Agreement Amendment Project
In 1985, the City, County of Orange, the Airport Working Group (AWG), and Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) entered into a Settlement Agreement to resolve litigation related to JWA. Over the years, the Settlement Agreement has been amended by the Parties to adjust the terms and protect the interests of our community. The current Settlement Agreement is set to expire on December 31, 2015.
In May, 2013, the City, County, AWG, and SPON entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to define their respective roles and responsibilities in the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) for the extension of the 1985 John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement. The MOU, among other things, proposes a “Project” to maintain the current restrictions on JWA though December 31, 2020, with reasonable increases in the number of passengers served and " Class A" departures from JWA going into effect thereafter.
The County of Orange, as the owner and operator of John Wayne Airport, will be the Lead Agency for the Project and will be responsible for the preparation of an environmental impact report (EIR) pursuant to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the State CEQA Guidelines. Information on the Project and the EIR will be posted here as it becomes available. Information can also be found at the County’s JWA website at http://www.ocair.com/communityrelations/settlementagreement/