Fly Friendly Program Takes Flight at John Wayne Airport

(Santa Ana, CA) – John Wayne Airport (JWA) announces the launch of Fly Friendly, an education and outreach program designed to minimize noise and environmental impacts from General Aviation (GA) –   or private use – jet aircraft around the surrounding communities.

“Fly Friendly is the successful outcome of ongoing dialogue between local government, residents, non-profits, and aviation stakeholders to strengthen pilots’ commitment to caring for their neighbors in aviation,” said Supervisor Doug Chaffee, Chairman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. 

Rooted in the concerns of the surrounding communities and the Newport Beach Aviation Committee, Supervisor Foley, Second District, took a proactive approach in establishing a program aimed at reducing measurable noise and pollution. When Newport Beach and Costa Mesa became part of Supervisor Lisa Bartlett’s Fifth District, both Supervisors joined forces and enthusiastically committed to the continued progress toward the implementation and launch of the program. The process consisted of many months of collaboration with residents, aviation industry professionals, and County representatives culminating in the creation of the Airport’s first voluntary Fly Friendly program.

“Fly Friendly uses a new software program to better identify and recognize outstanding operators,” said Vice Chairman Donald P. Wagner. “This program allows the County to input data from the Airport’s noise system to more accurately monitor our flights. We can use it to help the Airport determine the top operators and to course-correct those operators for improvement.”

Though JWA already has one of the most stringent aircraft noise monitoring programs in the United States, Fly Friendly builds upon existing regulations by outreaching directly to GA jet operators using toolkit materials available here and seeking voluntary adoption of best practices for quieter, cleaner flights.

“Our Fly Friendly initiative seeks to quiet the skies over neighborhoods and green up the Airport,” said Supervisor Katrina Foley, Second District. “Since taking office, my team and I worked closely with community stakeholders and the Airport to develop Fly Friendly as a solution to reduce noise and pollution. This collaborative and innovative program encourages general aviation pilots to fly a quieter path of departure that reduces noise and protects our local environment.”  

GA jet operators will receive points based on the following voluntary actions:

  • Avoiding nighttime and early-morning operations, when possible;
  • Producing the least amount of measurable noise per year;
  • Engaging pilots with noise abatement education, distributing Fly Friendly materials, and/or attending Orange County community meetings focused on aviation impacts; and
  • Contributing toward ecological restoration and habitat enhancement projects through the Irvine Ranch Conservancy or Newport Bay Conservancy.

The program goal is for community members living under and near the flight path to experience less noise by GA jet operators voluntarily adopting the recommended pilot instructions and best practices of the Fly Friendly program. 

“John Wayne Airport has consistently ranked in the top three among large airports in the nation in terms of guest experience and customer satisfaction, and takes great pride in being a good neighbor,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District. “When planes fly in and out of John Wayne Airport, they are not just utilizing the Airport – they’re flying over neighborhoods. I ask our general aviation jet operators to keep this in mind and strongly encourage their voluntary participation in the Fly Friendly program.”

A key component of Fly Friendly, as compared to other ‘’fly quiet” programs in operation at airports nationwide, is an environmental stewardship and sustainability category designed to support healthy, biologically-diverse ecosystems that provide residents with cleaner air, water, and recreational areas by offsetting some environmental impacts from GA jet aircraft.

 “John Wayne Airport’s Fly Friendly program focuses on innovating operational procedures that reduce noise and maintain open communication with the public,” said Supervisor Andrew Do, First District. “This is another positive example of a County agency working with the community to innovatively respond to challenges unique to our residents.”

To learn more about Fly Friendly, please visit www.ocair.com/FlyFriendly or email FlyFriendly@ocair.com.