Issues & Info

El Toro Sale and Start of Park Planning
El Toro Non-Aviation Reuse

El Toro Airport Failed Plans
So Cal Aviation Demand
Utilizing John Wayne Airport
Noise Impacts
Safety and Flight Paths
Property Values
Economics and Logistics
Politics, Bills, and Polling Data

Media Commentary


Who owns and will develop what at El Toro Maps of the various parcels as of September 2005.

Heritage Fields website The official website for the federal disposition of El Toro property

Auction Bidding. The GSA El Toro auction bid history.

Great Park website. City of Irvine webpages devoted to the Great Park Corporation and development plans.

Great Park Corp budget for 2005-6

Great Park - City of Irvine relationship - April 2006

Park Timeline. Schedule according to City of Irvine - February 2003.

El Toro in transition A photographic look at the base in 2004-5 after closure and before redevelopment


Reuse Map Evolution. A collection of maps traces the history of non-aviation reuse plans for El Toro. Map of the 4 parcels from Heritage Fields website.

Cal State University Fullerton Campus.  The university moves into El Toro property.

Recycling the Runways. The OC Register provides a look at how this can be a self supporting project.

Balboa Park.  A look at the history and use of another great California park.

Transit Oriented Development. A report on the pros and cons of a light-rail served community at El Toro.

Maglev The high speed rail of the future for intercity transit and connections to remote airports.  

Early Survey Sketched a Non-Aviation Future.  In 1997, Project 99 supporters rate 20 non-aviation reuses for the MCAS site as part of the South County early planning of alternatives. Compare this with Irvine's subsequent Great Park plans.


El Toro Airport Plans.  History of the changing plans for the airport and number of flight operations. Last update 10/2001.

Two-airport plan.  A digest of informed industry statements on why a two-airport plan for El Toro and John Wayne would not fly.

LAX plan for El Toro. A "secret" April 2003 proposal by Los Angeles officials to take over El Toro as part of Los Angeles World Airports.

What the El Toro fight cost.  A summary of who spent how much on the airport fight.

The Grounding of El Toro. An historical view of the airport fight.

Timeline. Chronology of events from the commissioning of the MCAS El Toro to the start of Great Park construction


SCAG Air Passenger Forecasts. SCAG forecasts future passenger service at regional airports. Includes forecasts made from 1998 to 2008.

Previous SCAG Aviation Forecasts.  SCAG historically forecasts demand for one more airport than we really need.

Redistribution of SoCal air travel. A compilation of data on the redistribution of passengers between airports in 2000-2008

Who uses LAX?  A 2006/7 update on how many travelers from each county use LAX

Who Uses LAX?  2001 data, published in 2004, on how many OC travelers use LAX.

Who Uses Ontario? 2003 data on how many OC residents use ONT.

Who Uses John Wayne? 2005 Survey shows who uses John Wayne airport.

Who Will Use the OC Airports.  County El Toro EIR 573 estimates how two county airports hope to be filled - by importing millions of passengers from other counties.

LAX Demand Study. Los Angeles World Airways 2/28/00 study sheds light on limited future demand for airports in Orange County. 

What is the Capacity of LAX?  Reports frequently quote 1960 figures but SCAG now says it is 78 MAP with runways capable of serving 89 MAP.

Population Trends.  SCAG projects the population for the counties of Southern California.  Orange County is the slowest grower.  Inland Empire takes off. San Diego also growing rapidly. See also that greater growth is in the North vs. South County.

Who Flew? This website estimates the actual distribution of air passengers amongst the SCAG region counties and airports in 2003. A companion page compares the SCAG forecast of growth in air travel with the growth in population in each county.

Disneyland Decides It Does Not Need El Toro.  The Times illuminates the fact that most air travel to Orange County is by tourists.

International El Toro routes might not fly.  The OC Register explains why a truly international El Toro airport is unlikely.


John Wayne Airport History, Settlement Agreement, Operations and Its Future.  Evolving report on plans for JWA.

EIR 617.  Report to the Board of Supervisors recommending the extension of the JWA limits beyond 2015 per the 2013 MOU.

2013 Memorandum of Understanding between the County and Newport Beach  Proposes extending caps to 2030

Long Term Airport NoiseAirport data shows less noise in 2010 that ten years ago.

How much noise do 2 million passengers make?  - Analysis of noise levels at JWA from 2002-2007.

John Wayne Settlement Agreement (1985) - The original agreement, amended several times, that established hours of operations and caps on airport operations.

John Wayne Settlement Agreement (2003) - The documents extending the agreement to 2015.

EIR 582 - Executive Summary. Basis for the increase in passenger caps and flights that were approved in 2003 and extend to 2015.

Seat allocations. How airport management and the Board of Supervisors keep actual JWA passenger service below the allowed MAP cap.

John Wayne airport photos. See why the County advertises the airport as "crowd free".  Pre-911.

Time for Plan B?  Tom Edwards, longtime proponent of El Toro airport says it may be time for a new plan. No El Toro and No JWA expansion. 3/23/00

Are You Under the North Flight Path?  A commercial pilot offers an alternative for expanding John Wayne without creating more noise in Newport Beach.

JWA Runways. An FAA database states that a runway extension "is under consideration" but the County is not considering it.

JWA Planes.  How many, how big, how noisy are the planes that actual serve JWA.

JWA and Lindbergh Field. How these two similarly sized airports, each with a single commercial runway, compare in utilization.


Area Airports and Airbases. Where are they? A map.

Regional Solution. Everyone has an idea of where airport capacity should be added as part of a regional solution.

Southern California Regional Airport Authority  Defunct regional organization hoped to implement a regional airport plan.

Airport Site Consensus.  1990 report recommends March, Pendleton and two other sites - and passes over El Toro.

Ontario Expansion.  August 1999 news release says the recently expanded airport has extra capacity and is prepared to expand again. Not much has happened.

What About Long Beach Airport?  A selection of information on the closest airport to North Orange County.

March Inland Port. The commercial airport at the former March Air Force Base is open for business and ready to go, with substantial advantages.  (11/17/99)

George AFB, (SCLA), Victorville.  Closed as a military base in 1992. The new Southern California Logistics Airport is being developed with hopes to become the region's second international cargo gateway. (10/28/98)

Norton AFB, San Bernadino International Airport.  San Bernadino is seeking to provide passenger, cargo and general aviation service.

What About Palmdale? The Antelope Valley News reminds us that Palmdale is there to relieve the burden on LAX, as part of a regional approach to airport planning.

San Diego Airports San Diego is studying expanding Lindbergh Field and may add a runway.  Meanwhile a state-mandated commission is looking for another airport site.

San Diego site search. As of October 2005, San Diego has nine potential airport sites under study. Miramar was selected and then rejected by voters.

What About Camp Pendleton?  It is not currently available but keeps coming up in discussion including the San Diego site selection study. Last update 9/27/2003.

Ventura County  Point Mugu and Oxnard prospects.

San Francisco Bay Area Airports  Bay area airport capacity does not follow a county "fair share"distribution.

New York Area Airports  The NY/NJ metropolitan area concentrates its airports in one NYC county and one New Jersey county.

Southern California Airports. Table shows how airport capacity is distributed in SoCal.  The county with the largest population has the most airport service.

So Cal - NY Region Comparative aviation related facts about the similar SCAG and Metropolitan New York - New Jersey  regions.


Who gets the noise?  A summary of the number of residences or persons exposed to 65dB noise at the Southland's airports.

How Loud is the Noise?  What we hear is Single Event Noise Levels (SENL), but the County uses an average of the loud and quiet periods in calculating Community Noise Equivalent Levels (CNEL).
A table provides some answers to what decibel levels sound like. Data on  noise levels for various aircraft.

Putting 65 CNEL in Perspective.  Complaints at John Wayne Airport shows that 65 CNEL is a poor predictor of residents' annoyance with noise.

Website noise demoA computerized simulation of where the noise will be loudest.

Aircraft Noise and Capacity Act of 1990. Congress ruled out curfews and restrictions for El Toro like those at John Wayne airport.

Air Transport Association. The airlines state why they oppose noise and air traffic limitations, such as nightime flight restrictions. The ATA says they can not afford to operate at John Wayne Airport, if a new airport is built at El Toro.

Noise Impacts and Sleep Deprivation.  An environmental scientist briefs ETRPA on the impacts to be expected from El Toro noise and provides a summary fact sheet and handout on noise impacts.

Effects of Aircraft Noise on Children.  A team of researchers, including UCI scientists, look at the impact on children near LAX.

Chronic Noise and Psychological Stress  A major study of school children in neighborhoods near the Munich International Airport reveals multiple impacts attributable to noise.

Kids Near Airports Don't Read as Well. Experts at Cornell University report on their study of the impact of noise on children.

Airport noise is harmful to the health and well-being of children.  Noise may cause lifelong problems, latest Cornell study shows.

Airport Noise May Be Bad for Kids' Memory.  Swedish study published in September 2002 shows additional adverse effects.

Students' Work SuffersO'Hare area schools sue airport. $1.8 million spent to soundproof one building.

Aircraft Noise and Blood Pressure. 2001 study links aircraft noise and blood pressure.

30,000 residents will be severly impacted. ETRPA  April 15, 1999 study.

Entire Kentucky Town Relocated in Unique Airport Noise Buyout- New York Times


Flying Off Course.  Executive summary of the National Resource Defense Council's study of the environmental impact of airports.

AReCO on Airport Pollution.  A study of airport pollution impacts on the public by the Alliance of Residents Concerning O'Hare, Inc. (AReCO).

Airports: Deadly Neighbors. Full text of an article in the Earth Island Journal details the toxic impacts of airports.

Cleaning El Toro Pollution. The Navy Facilities Engineering command provides a library of information on-line. Click on Restoration Advisory Board and then select El Toro.

Cleanup is Navy's Job A RAB member states why the Navy must clean the El Toro base.

Restoration Advisory Board.  A RAB member outines ground cleanup issues at the base.

Air Pollution.  A summary of information compiled by a concerned resident of Orange County.

Children and Pollution.  A recent study shows that children are more susceptible to airborne particles.

Brain Tumors Near Airports Two articles regarding tumor clusters under study near Seattle-Tacoma airport.

El Toro Airport - A Public Health Issue.  Technical analysis of the air pollution from El Toro airport.

Fog and Aircraft Pollution at El Toro.  A stagnant marine layer will trap aircrat pollutants, creating a health hazard.

Airport Health Risks.  A June 2000 report on the carcinogens in the air near the proposed El Toro and John Wayne airports.

Cancer Risks Rise at O'Hare.  August 27, 2000 report on increased cancer risks near O'Hare Airport show results similar to those projected for the proposed El Toro airport.

Boston Logan Airport study.  A 1999 study by a Boston suburb, Winthrop,  found that for the most common respiratory diseases, asthma and allergy, disease is twice as common in neighborhoods closest to the airport.


Where Would the Planes Fly? Both airline pilots associations, and many individual pilots, speak out in opposition to the flight paths proposed for El Toro. Eventually, the planes might fly over communities that voted for an El Toro Airport.

FAA Airspace Analysis (2001)  Flight paths proposed by the County can be safely operated but are not the best, will seriously impact regional airspace and reduce overall efficiency.

Air Tragedy at Leisure World  Two aircraft collided over the community, killing a pilot and four residents. A resident provides this report of the accident that haunts many in the El Toro flight path.

Air Line Pilots Association. The union representing 55,000 pilots comments on El Toro and the EIR. (2/16/00) ALPA says they will refuse to fly on runways as planned by the County. They also state that John Wayne will have to close, for safety reasons, if El Toro is built. Link to several other ALPA letters.

Allied Pilots Association. Union of Amercian Airlines pilots opposes use of Runway 7 and straight north takeoffs.. (10/23/01) Link to previous APA letters.

Is El Toro Unsafe. Statements from the County, the Air Line Pilots Association and some reports on engine failures.   Also see photos of Loma Ridge and the mountains facing the North Takeoff.

Federal Aviation Administration Memo.  An internal FAA memo says that there is not enough airspace for two airports... so why build El Toro?

American Airlines on El Toro. The airline's chief operations officer notes the limitations of the airfield's principal runway.  Mr. Baker repeats American's opposition to a two-airport system in Orange County.


Loss of Property Value and Property Tax Revenue Attributable to El Toro Airport Noise.A 2002 study of the loss in value and tax revenue in Orange County by Larry Bales, Auditor-appraiser.

The Impacts of An Airport on Property Values.  An editorial looks at the logic and data on how airports impact property values. An FAA study and Washington State study are referenced.

The Impact of Airport Noise on Residential Real Estate. Randall Bell, a nationally recognized expert in real estate and environmental damage valuation takes an updated look at the subject. (pdf file).

The Bell Study of Impacts at LAX, JWA and Ontario.  Randall Bell, a nationally recognized real estate appraiser studies the  reductions in property values near southland airports. This report preceded the one above.

Avigation Easements.   Homeowners are required to give up their right to sue for aircraft related damages.  El Toro avigation easements were cancelled by the Board of Supervisors in 2003.


The Two-Airport Debacle.  If we build it will they come? The airline industry seems to be saying "No".

Where's the Jet Fuel?  El Toro plans don't include the necessary aviation fuel supply and storage facilities.

The Great Cargo Flight Hoax.  Airport proponents cite misinformation about the need for cargo flights to get an early aviation foot in the door at El Toro.

A Business Planner's Look at Airport Expansion.  A professional appraisal of San Jose's experience shows many parallels to the situation in Orange County.


1997 County Commissioned Poll. (6/97)  The County finds that the electorate does not back El Toro airport, or trust county staff.

1998 UC Irvine Annual Opinion Poll. Plurality of residents oppose an El Toro airport and do not want John Wayne closed.

1999 UC Irvine Annual Opinion Poll. Findings are similar to 1998 poll.

2000 UC Irvine Annual Opinion Poll. Growing majority of residents oppose the El Toro airport and do not expect it to be built. County handling of project gets low ratings.

1998 ETRPA Poll. (11/98) Majority of voters oppose El Toro Airport.

1998 LA Times Poll.  May 24, 1998 headline says "Voters Ground Airport Options". Residents want another vote on El Toro.

2000 LA Times Poll.  February 15, 2000 headline reports "El Toro Airport Opponents Take Lead in Survey" with a majority opposed to an airport.

1999-2000 Cal State Fullerton / Orange County Business Council Surveys. November 22, 1999 report from CSUF shows Safe and Healthy Initiative strong with those who read it. February 2000 followup poll confirms that Measure F is winning and airport is unpopular.

2000 Cal State Fullerton Survey. October 2000 survey shows large drop in airport support.

2001 Cal State Fullerton Survey. March 2001 results plus summary of 4 previous surveys. Opposition outnumbers support in North County.

2001 Cal State Fullerton Survey.  July 2001 survey finds 62.4 percent support for park initiative. One time data blip shows increased support for airport, but November poll (below) reverses the finding.

2001 February Pacific Poll. Independent poll finds building El Toro is at the bottom of residents concerns and confidence is low in the supervisors' ability to manage the project.

2001 August Pacific Poll. "Public opposition grows to airport at El Toro. Poll reveals support for park, but voters raise questions about park financing."

2001 Chapman Poll. First public poll of Central Park initiative shows strong public support.

2001 August UC Irvine and Public Policy Institute poll.  Smaller airport no more popular than large one. Park favored.

2001 Cal State Fullerton Poll. November 2001 survey shows decreased support for airport. Report summarizes previous studies.

2001 Chapman Fall Poll. December poll finds that support for El Toro Airport has fallen in the aftermath of the September terrorist attacks. Among those who are decided, the park initiative is favored by over 2:1.

2002 Cal State Fullerton Poll.  February 2002 survey shows Measure W leading 61 percent to 39 percent.

2002 LA Times Poll. Final public poll before the Measure W election shows airport support down countywide but concern about park's cost.

Twelve ETRPA Polls.  April 2002 release of data from twelve previously private polls shows support for airport at its lowest level. (.pdf file)

2002 Cal State Fullerton Poll. Support for the airport is at the lowest level since the university began this series in 1999.

2003 Cal State Fullerton Poll. Opposition to an airport at El Toro increases to 74.3% when respondents are asked their opinion on an El Toro Airport run by Los Angeles.

Measure A.  The 1994 county ballot measure that designates El Toro for civilian airport use.

Measure S. The 1996 ballot measure that failed to overturn Measure A.

Measure F. The 2000 anti-airport Safe and Healthy Communities Act that passed overwhelmingly but was overturned in court.

Measure W. The 2002 Orange County Central Park and Nature Preserve initiative that cancelled Measure A and changed the General Plan for El Toro to non-aviation uses.

Assembly Bill 37. The Board of Supervisors are the Local Reuse Authority for El Toro, by decision of the Department of Defense. Passed.

Assembly Bill 1248.  A bill to remove Orange County's special exemption from the California law which requires voter approval of airport revenue bonds. Did not get out of committee.

Assembly Bill 2333. The Nakano bill attempted to penalize OC for not building El Toro. Passed the Legislature but was vetoed by the Governor. Click here for the legislators' voting record.

Assembly Bill 93. Created a regional airport authority in San Diego County to override local city control. See also SB 1703. Both are law.

Assembly Bill 1197.  The 2005 Gordon bill to create a regional airport authority in the SCAG region.

Senate Bill 32. Alarcon's 2005 bill to create a Los Angeles regional airport authority.

California Code of Regulations Noise Standards  The Division of Aeronautics sets forth interior and exterior noise standards for airports in the state.

Understanding the 3 Pronged Attack.  An explanation of the coordinated roles of ETRPA, Irvine and Committee for Safe and Healthy Communities in the attack on El Toro Airport.

The jetport is dead; long live the parks.  It took 7 years before efforts to turn Florida's Homestead AFB into a commercial airport finally died.

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