The overall drop in the airport's level of activity in January reflects a general trend throughout the state, according to Alan Murphy, assistant to the airport manager. Factors include a decrease in the number of air fare "price wars" offered to the public by the airlines.
The seeming increase in the number of military operations is misleading, Murphy said. "Last year was way off" in the number of these operations, he said, adding that the current figure is more typical of the number in that category. Military operations consist of Marine helicopter pilots practicing their instrument landings by buzzing the area above the airport and coming in close to the surface. Murphy said the helicopters generally don't make actual landings at the airport.
% Jan. 1988 Jan. 1987 change TOTAL PASSENGERS 325,447 346,798 -6.2 Arriving 160,714 182,234 -11.8 Departing 164,733 164,564 0.1 TOWER OPERATIONS 39,590 41,397 -4.4 General Aviation 32,225 34,019 -5.3 Air Carrier 5,210 5,040 3.4 Air Taxi 1,843 2,175 -15.3 Military 312 163 91.4 AUTOS PARKED 55,994 59,908 -6.5
Source: John Wayne Airport