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Conclusions About New John Wayne Airport Agreement

September 01, 1985

Few subjects have generated more emotion, wishful thinking and selective use of the facts than the John Wayne Airport controversy. Some of my Newport Beach neighbors say the new agreement between the city, county and homeowner groups is bad for the flight path residents and is "total surrender." At the same time a friend of mine from Irvine describes the agreement as a stranglehold on county air transportation--a disaster that will take 20 years to fix. These conclusions are both wrong.

Those of us affected by the noise tend to confuse what we would like with what our options really are. The trick is to find the proper time to search for agreement in the midst of the legal process. Our attorney tells us that now is precisely such a time.

Additional years of legal struggle would not help residents in the end and would severely punish those who deserve to fly in and out of the county in other than slum conditions. The county needs more flights, and, as the BAe-146 demonstrates, technology is moving toward making those flights a lot more acceptable.

Maybe the best measure of the fairness of the agreement is that no one is totally pleased. It could not be a just resolution if all interests of any side were totally met. We are finally moving ahead rather than burying our heads in shifting legal sands.

FREDRIC J. FORSTER

Newport Beach

Forster is treasurer of the Airport Working Group of Orange County Inc., one of the homeowner groups that opposed the airport and signed the compromise agreement.

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