Orange County authorises general aviation changes at John Wayne Airport

The general aviation (GA) structure at John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County, California, is set for major changes after the Orange County Board of Supervisors approved a radical overhaul.

Supervisor Michelle Steel was behind the proposal which will redefine the area available to different sized general aviation aircraft.

Steel said the new plane includes “my original goals of modernizing our facilities and getting in line with the (Federal Aviation Administration) rules,” although the plan was criticised by some local residents, who raised concerns over noise and health concerns related to the airport.

The plan will limit medium and large business jets to 25.6 acres (previously 60 acres) at the airport, and hours of operation between 5am to midnight, in a move that is intended to revitalise smaller GA activity.

The space allocated to the two fixed-base operators (FBOs) currently at the airport will be divided between smaller and larger aircraft – the 20.5 acre plot occupied by Atlantic Aviation will be reallocated to serve only smaller aircraft, while the two plots occupied by ACI Jet will operate as two separate FBOs for medium and larger size jets.

“Inevitably, no one gets everything they want,” fellow supervisor Don Wagner said.

“The health of the citizens (is) protected, the expansion is off the table and it is time to move forward with the interests as best as can be balanced.” Wagner thanked Steel for an “exemplary job in a complicated process in bringing the folks together as best as can be done.”