Wednesday, November 22, 2006



--At the City Council meeting last night, the CM PRESS tried to prod the City Council into taking the initiative on some of the larger issues that face us in Costa Mesa.

One of the things we brought up is the fact that the Council needs to get aggressive with John Wayne Airport to keep it from eating up Costa Mesa.

We pointed out (in a somewhat more abbreviated manner than what follows, because of the three minute time constraint at the podium) that Newport Beach has a signed and sealed deal that allows that city to stop any growth of the airport on Newport's land, but that Costa Mesa doesn't have such a deal.

To make our point, we said that if the airport puts in a new runway or reconfigures the old one just a few degrees to the west of the present one that we'll have planes flying low over the Eastside of Costa Mesa and right over City Hall.

Councilmember Bever then (smugly?) asked the City Manager "Isn't it true, Mr. Roeder, that the FAA wants planes to take off over water and that means the present runway or any new runways can't be reconfigured to the west?" [As the CM PRESS just suggested]

The City Manager, ever the diplomat, but also one who understood our larger point, replied that the FAA does indeed have control over such things, but if the airport grows, it may do so on the Costa Mesa side of its present location.


John Wayne is too small.

The population in South County is growing and is putting pressure on the airport to expand. This isn't going to abate.

This is a supply and demand problem. The supply of air travel in Orange County is too small for the demand for air travel.

Supply of this vital form of travel must and will expand.

The FAA, despite what Bever may think, can have planes taking off anyplace it wants them to take off. It just has to generate some reports saying taking off over the Eastside of Costa Mesa is hunky dory...and that may happen unless an alternative to John Wayne can be found.

Present attempts to keep John Wayne from seriously impacting Costa Mesa mostly revolve around capping or limiting flights. This is a losing battle. Again, it's a matter of simple supply and demand.

Some have also suggested that we should put in high speed bullet trains to a now closed down Air Force base in San Bernardino that can be made into a commercial airport. Under this idea, you'd go to the present John Wayne, which would actually be a train station, get on a train and be whisked to the real airport in San Bernardino.

By the time something like this is done, you may even be able to get to John Wayne with your personal rocket backpack. No, dear readers, this is not a good solution.


The answer to keeping John Wayne as small as possible, as we've written many times before, is to have part of the Camp Pendleton Marine base turned into an international airport. This will allow planes to take off over water--and a few surfers down below--and it will be in the right place at the right time to fill the demands of growing South County. It will also be convenient for the rest of Orange County and much of San Diego County.

Then, John Wayne can be held to lower limits ad infinitum (that means "forever," Ms. Dixon).
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John Wayne Airport's Airport Land Use Commission told the Council last night that it's not keen on the proposed high rise condominium project near the Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.

The Council, which had been expected to approve the five residential projects consisting of eight 24 to 25 story condo towers, each about 315 feet tall, put off making a decision until January.

Now, dear reader, why do you think there would be an objection to such large residential towers near the area where planes come in low to land at John Wayne Airport? In fact, these towers would be to the west of the present landing path. Hmmm. Let's put on our thinking caps.

Well, if John Wayne were to expand west into Costa Mesa and eat up Red Hill Avenue and maybe even more land to the west of that between Bristol Street and Red Hill and if the airport put in another runway (which it needs right now), then these buildings would be in the danger zone.

Never fear, though, Councilmember Bever says that planes have to take off over water. But, what about landing? Aren't they landing over land now? Hmmmmm?

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Those are our opinions. Thanks for reading them.


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