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An International Airport for Orange County

August 28, 1988

Nearly everyone in flourishing Orange County agrees we have a compelling need for a world-class airport.

Most proposed airport sites are pretty far out, literally. Offshore locations costing billions of dollars have been suggested. Leveling hills to the northeast has been suggested and, of course, there's always El Toro.

Imagine (a new) Orange County Airport, right in the middle of Orange County. Two parallel, 12,000-foot-long runways with unobstructed approaches in both directions would make the new airport the talk of the flying world. There would be ample room for terminals and plenty of land for an airport industrial area.

We citizens already own three-quarters of the land we'll need for the new airport. We own John Wayne Airport and we own the Marine Corps Helicopter Air Station in Tustin. We'd need to purchase the strip of land joining these two fields, something less than 500 acres from Barranca Parkway to the airport, bordered by Red Hill Avenue on the west and Armstrong Avenue on the east.

Both ends of the runways would have a perfectly clear 1-mile-long final approach within the airport boundaries that would eliminate the need for noise abatement on both landing and takeoff.

Rest assured, the Marines want the helicopter base, but they have no need for it. They use it as a maintenance base and a helicopter parking area, but their training is carried on, in most cases, a hundred or more miles from Tustin in Twentynine Palms, Yuma or the Imperial Valley. The Marines want to stay in Tustin for exactly the same reason you and I do, the Mediterranean climate. So they fly two- and three-jet-engine helicopters, burning as much fuel as a commercial airliner, back and forth to work.

There are reams to be written about this subject, such as the tunnels required for Barranca, MacArthur Boulevard and the 405 Freeway, but little appears very challenging. It's the perfect location for Orange County International Airport. Let's do it!

BEN GEORGE

Santa Ana

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