Monday, January 31, 2011

New Departure path at John Wayne Orange County Airport

Airplanes leaving John Wayne Airport will soon follow a new route designed to keep them farther from the Back Bay neighborhoods that have long complained about the shriek of jet engines overhead.

The new route better follows the contours of the Upper Newport Bay itself, threading flights between the homes that line its east and west shores. Dozens of flights each day will shift to the new track within the next month.

The Federal Aviation Administration has been tweaking the flight path out of John Wayne in recent years as better technology made it easier for airplanes to fly more-precise routes. It tightened one of the airport's main departure routes in 2009, but also shifted it a few hundred feet to the east.
That put departing planes and all their noise closer to the homes of a community called The Bluffs. The new route is meant to correct that by shifting the flight path back toward the center of the bay, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said Monday.

Three dozen Southwest Airlines flights tested the new route earlier this month. Plotted on a map of Newport Beach, their flight paths merge into a single ribbon heading out over the bay, midway between the east and west sides.

"Let's put it this way: A bit more tolerable," said Don Passaglia, a board member for The Bluffs Homeowners Community Association, who saw the test results. The old route, he said, put planes so close to his house as they took off that "it appears (they're) right over your head."
About 90 flights a day have been using the route that took them over The Bluffs and will switch to the new route within the month. They include commercial aircraft heading east of Las Vegas as well as some business jets.

The airport faced lawsuits from noise-weary residents after its modern terminal was built in 1967. A court settlement in 1985 limited the noisiest flights, capped passenger volume, and restricted the airport's size.

(Doug Irving - The Orange County Register)


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Anonymous said...

Now the new flight path appears that the planes are hugging along Irvine Ave and practically flying above homes on this side of the Back Bay. The new flight path is supposed to be going down the center of the Back Bay half way between either side where homes exist. However it appears while looking at the planes that they have reverted back to the original flight path as opposed to the new flight path as outlined. Homeowners on the west side of the bay are all very affected by the extremely loud scriech and higher frequency of planes taking off over our homes with the opening of the new terminal which magnifies the problems. A petition must be organized and something needs to be done to solve this terrible problem. It not only is a nuisance but also dramatically affects daily lifestyle and dramatically lowers property values for the houses and condos on the West side.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree! I have been noticing that the planes are extremely loud
In the last few weeks. I thought it was just my imagination. In speaking with some of my neighbors, they to have noticed the increase of noise. Is there anyone that I can speak with regarding this flight path?