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An International Airport for Orange County

August 28, 1988

I would like to thank you for a timely and highly informative article on the construction at John Wayne Airport. I would also like to accept the challenge of a respondent to my letter (July 31) to suggest a possible remedy to the John Wayne Airport controversy.

My previous letter to the editor vented a frustration I feel over the antics of Orange County officials offering cotton candy solutions and exclaiming "how nutritious!" What then is the solution?

I believe the airport services must remain where they are--in close proximity to the many hotels, restaurants and businesses that have sprung up around the airport. I also believe that air traffic must be moved to a safer and saner, remote location in the east county. The only way to reconcile this dichotomy is a high-speed land link.

I can see a high-speed rail system running down the center of the 55 Freeway, then taking the route of the proposed Eastern Transportation Corridor, and terminating (temporarily) at runways to the northeast of Irvine Lake. Siting of runways is, of course, crucial, complex and can only be the product of careful analysis. For this discussion, however, we can take as a given that a one-way trip would take less time than it now takes to transit the concourses of major airports, such as Atlanta, O'Hare and even Los Angeles International. To give a loose projection of numbers, four trips per hour on a 16-hour-day basis of 500-passenger trams would accommodate the 11-million projected volume for the airport. Increase the trips per hour, the occupancy and the outlying destination, and we could have an airport that becomes a transportation hub for Orange County, a much-needed centering of our splintered public transportation efforts.

RICK DAYTON

Newport Beach

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