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Give and Take on El Toro Airport

December 31, 2000

* In response to Nicholas Dzepina's letter (Dec. 24), I agree there is little to complain about inside the terminal at John Wayne Airport. The problems are outside. Parking is horrible if you do not have someone to drop you off. The crowded conditions on the taxiways for takeoffs and landings are bad.

My last flight was a 7 a.m. to Phoenix and on to Omaha. We boarded on time, got away from the gate on time but did not get into the air until 7:35 a.m. and arrived in Phoenix with 15 minutes to spare for the connecting flight. My return flight came in on time, but we sat on the tarmac for 20 minutes waiting for our gate to open.

One runway does not meet our needs, and there isn't room at John Wayne for another one. El Toro is needed.

CHARLES E. BOWMAN

Santa Ana

*

Newport Beach's Tom Anderson and Jerry Parks would have us believe that John Wayne is outmoded because of the temporary shutdown caused by blown tires stranding a jet on the runway for hours (Letters, Dec. 24).

What these two writers omitted was that it took several hours to have a tire jack sent from LAX to repair the plane. This was reported in The Times the day after the incident. One would think that a modern, recently upgraded and enlarged facility such as John Wayne would have on hand a tire jack in preparation for such an incident.

With four fully operational airports scant seconds away from John Wayne and capable of handling any such emergencies, the likelihood of "horrific consequences" as a result of insufficient fuel on board would fall into the realm of fictional screenplay writing and not that of responsible piloting.

DON DUCA

Laguna Niguel

* Assuming the vast majority of El Toro airport opponents use regional airports such as LAX, John Wayne and Ontario, I continue to find irony in letters decrying El Toro supporters as "selfish."

People who live in communities impacted by airports already bear the burden of ever-increasing Southern California air traffic. With their "no airport of any size" stance, El Toro opponents are saying that people who live near existing airports or flight paths should simply accept more air traffic while the areas around El Toro (and its unparalleled buffer zone) remain airport-free. And this while residents near El Toro continue to contribute to regional air traffic needs.

LYNN WALLACE

Costa Mesa

*

Here we go again! North Countians like William J. Kearns and Anna Krone (Letters, Dec. 17) are implying that we South Countians moved here knowing full well that there would be 24-hour international commercial air traffic flying over our heads.

When most of us moved here, we knew we would be subjected to occasional military jet noise. There was no talk of a commercial airport. Although those military jets were louder than commercial jets, they were not nonstop 24 hours a day. We often went for several days without hearing any jets at all.

No, Ms. Krone, South County residents are not the ones who changed their minds. We have never agreed to nor accepted this intrusion on our quality of life, and we never will. If you want the convenience of a closer international airport, let these planes fly over Anaheim.

MARYANNE ROSE

Laguna Niguel

*

It continues to amaze me how the desires of the majority of the citizens of Orange County are being ignored. One would think that since the large majority of the citizens of the county oppose an international airport at El Toro, the conflict with pro-airport forces would end, but the fight goes on and on.

Now we see where an official of the FAA reports, "We have concluded that flights from the existing facility could be safely accommodated." The FAA stand does not give flight patterns, nor does it address the health and safety of those living in and under any proposed plan.

Safety is not only in the sky. Damage to health by noise and engine pollution to those on the ground are major factors purposely ignored by the airport supporters. We've suffered long enough, so they intimate; now it's your turn. It's a fallacy to say thousands of new jobs will be available. Let's face it: John Wayne will be scaled down with most employees no doubt transferred to El Toro.

The FAA announcement gives no conclusions, no proposed flight patterns, no mention of the desires of the people and no mention of the health and safety of the citizens most affected by the planned airport.

The timing of the announcement was also suspect, so close to an election when the FAA says their report is "only a portion of the total analysis" and the final analysis "will be completed in March."

H. MINICK

USAF retired

Laguna Hills

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