The El Toro Marine Corps Air Station topped the list of potential airport sites suggested by three engineering firms that are competing for a chance to develop plans for the Orange County Cities Airport Authority.
Although El Toro has been repeatedly rejected by the Pentagon and the County Board of Supervisors, Ken Delino, executive director of the authority, said that was the only site named by all three firms.
Three months ago the airport authority asked firms to choose the sites they believe are best suited for further airport planning to relieve overcrowding at John Wayne Airport.
Delino said a consortium involving P&D Technologies and Greiner Engineering suggested further study of El Toro, George Air Force Base in San Bernardino County--the site preferred by Orange County county supervisors--and Cristianitos Canyon in South County.
A partnership of Fox Consulting and HTR Engineering proposed El Toro, Cristianitos Canyon, March Air Force Base in Riverside County and Potrero Los Pinos in Cleveland National Forest.
The third firm, Phoenix-based Franzoi-Corey, suggested El Toro, George Air Force Base and a combined facility joining John Wayne Airport with the Tustin Marine Corps helicopter base.
The Board of Supervisors has decided to pursue George Air Force Base, which is being abandoned by the Pentagon, after rejecting Cristianitos Canyon and South Camp Pendleton.
The engineering firms will be interviewed by the Airport Authority on July 25 and one will be selected in the hope that supervisors will eventually change their minds about using the site in San Bernardino County.