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Problems From Airport Growth

February 07, 1988

The expansion of Orange County's John Wayne Airport and the airlines' continued overuse of it are having an increasingly adverse impact on our community.

Years ago we allowed ourselves to be lulled into a sense of security with the compromise with Newport Beach regarding various airlines' use of the airport. We allowed a greater number of flights because less-noisy aircraft were to be employed. How naive we were. The lawsuit by Newport Beach was dismissed, the flights were increased and the camel had its nose in the tent.

Now we are beginning to see how the whole beast will eventually get into the tent. The airlines demanded that weight restrictions be lifted. They demanded a recalculation of noise-level limitations. They got both. What next? A change in the curfew hours? A resurfacing of the runways to accommodate heavier jets?

The airport expansion proponents succeeded because we failed to consider the consequences of "the nose in the tent." I suspect it is only a matter of time before the beach area becomes another Playa del Rey.

People must now voice their opposition to further inroads or be prepared for an unwelcome roommate.

WILLIAM M. MONROE

Corona del Mar

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