Settlement Agreement Update
On Tuesday, September 30, 2014, the Orange County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to approve amendments to the landmark John Wayne Airport (JWA) Settlement Agreement. The vote was the culmination of more than two years of discussions between the four signatories to the Settlement Agreement (the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, the Airport Working Group and Stop Polluting Our Newport) regarding future operational parameters for John Wayne Airport. The Board also certified Environmental Impact Report 617 which contained the full environmental review of the proposed amendments.
The amendments provide for no increase in capacity until 2021 at which time service levels can rise from the currently authorized 10.8 million annual passengers (MAP) to 11.8 MAP, and to a maximum of 12.5 MAP from 2026 through 2030. Of particular importance to the Airport’s neighbors was the inclusion of a commitment by the Board of Supervisors to maintain JWA’s curfew through 2035.
Through what Second District Supervisor John M. W. Moorlach termed a “collaborative and deliberative process which began almost from the time I first took office at the end of 2006,” the four parties reached consensus on a proposed project in a “balanced, fair and appropriate way.” He continued, “I am extremely proud of the results which achieve a balance between the air transportation needs of Orange County and the local residents living in the vicinity of the airport.” Third District Supervisor Todd Spitzer commented, “The most important thing this agreement extension does is strike a balance between protecting residents and growing the economic benefits of the airport. Through all of my outreach on this issue, the biggest concern of the residents has been to minimize noise and protect the curfew. I’m glad we’ve done that.”
The original Settlement Agreement, dating back to 1985, formalized consensus between the County of Orange, the City of Newport Beach, the Airport Working Group (AWG) and Stop Polluting Our Newport (SPON) on the nature and extent of facility and operational improvements that could be implemented at JWA through 2005. In 2003, the original four signatories approved a series of amendments to the Settlement Agreement that allowed for additional facilities and operational capacity and continued to provide environmental protections for the local community through 2015.
For more details about the Settlement Agreement and the amendment process, visit www.ocair.com/settlementagreement.