General Aviation Improvement Program

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On May 7, after taking public comments and deliberating, the Board of Supervisors decided to continue the General Aviation Improvement Program item to its May 21 meeting, but that has now been changed to Tuesday, June 25. The Board will not consider the item on May 21 as was initially announced.

The cities of Costa Mesa and Newport Beach had City Council representatives present who spoke in favor of Alternative 3. The City of Newport Beach also had its outside counsel speak about some of the issues raised in the letter the City sent to the Board on May 3. (Laguna Beach and Tustin sent letters in support of Alt. 3 and the Huntington Beach City Council voted to support Alt. 3  on May 6.) There was a strong showing of community members, but there wasn’t a clear consensus behind one alternative or concept. Some supported the So Cal Pilot’s proposal (calls for 3 FBOs and more space for light GA), others sought to delay the Board's vote, and some supported Alternative 3. No one spoke in favor of Alternative 1.

It appeared that the Board was moving toward approving Alternative 1. Supervisor Andrew Do then proposed a compromise - a modified Alternative 1 -  in an effort to address some of the concerns raised. After further discussion, the Board decided to continue the item to give airport staff time to analyze the proposal and determine if it is in alignment with the environmental document. The City of Costa Mesa will continue to work with the County over the next two weeks and advocate the elements we believe will best protect our community.

County leaders are weighing the new proposal, which combines elements of Alternative 1 with elements of Alternative 3. The table below (using the EIR’s 2026 forecasts for the alternatives) compares Alternative 1, Alternative 3 and the Proposal presented at the May 7 Board meeting. 

 Proposed GAIP Alternative

Overview

John Wayne Airport is considering modernizing its general aviation facilities.

The proposed improvements include:

  • Modifications to buildings and an airfield roadway to comply with current Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards for airport design
  • Provisions for a General Aviation facility which is a screening facility for Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, for international travel, in addition to provisions for a general aviation terminal
  • Provisions for up to three full-service, Fixed Base Operators
  • Provisions for a flight school with tie-down areas
  • Provisions for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department air support facility
  • Provisions for a self-service fuel facility for general aviation aircraft
  • Retention of the existing general aviation fuel farm, which is located on the southeast side of the airport.

All improvements are proposed to be confined to the existing airport footprint. You can learn more about the program at ocair.com/generalaviation/gaimprovement.

Draft Environmental Impact Report

The County of Orange prepared a Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed General Aviation Improvement Program (GAIP) in the fall of 2018. The draft EIR public review and comment period began on September 20, 2018 and closed on November 21, 2018. The Draft EIR is available for public review at ocair.com/deir627.

The County issued its responses to comments on April 9, 2019. You can access the information at ocair.com/generalaviation/gaimprovement.