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DP logoRobert McDonald, San Juan Capistrano

Starting last November, commercial jet traffic, as well as other air traffic, began to crowd the skies over San Juan Capistrano as well as Dana Point. Most noticeable is the parade of flights that circle back in from over the ocean after departing Orange County’s John Wayne Airport.

They fly at low altitudes coming back over land around the Dana Point Headlands area. The air traffic then proceeds over homes on the hillsides of San Juan Capistrano, creating noise and accelerating and climbing. There is no need for an aircraft that has departed as far away as John Wayne Airport to be at such a low altitude at this point in its flight. This begins at approximately 7:03 a.m. and continues sometimes after 10 p.m.

When contacted, John Wayne Airport states there is nothing they can do. When the Orange County Board of Supervisors’ office(s) are contacted, they reply there is nothing they can do. The story goes that the Federal Aviation Administration has control over our airport.

Apparently the FAA is trying to push through new routes that will be more cost effective for the airlines. The cities of Newport Beach and Laguna Beach, as of several months ago, already filed a lawsuit against the FAA over the proposed flight path changes, but the County of Orange has not. I’m told that the changes could further negatively impact our cities, as well as additional cities.

When contacted, the county supplies phone numbers for the FAA that go to individuals who have no clue as to what is taking place. One of the best answers I received from an FAA contact was that “people need to get places.”

Most troublesome is it appears the airport has no relationship or contact person with the FAA. It appears there is no concern over the negative impact operations at John Wayne Airport have on the county taxpayers.

Should this be negatively affecting you right now, or potentially later, I urge you to take action to protect your peace and quiet and property values. Contact the following representatives should you wish.

Lisa Bartlett, chairwoman of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and your 5th District representative, can be reached at 714.834.3550.

The noise complaint office at John Wayne Airport can be reached at 949.252.5185. You can contact them each and every time you are impacted by a noisy, loud aircraft. Again, you may be referred to an FAA phone number for someone who has no information on what is taking place at John Wayne Airport.

Congressman Darrell Issa can be reached at 760.599.5000. You can request that Issa email a complaint form or “constituent assistance form”—simply fill the form out and return it to Issa asking for help on this.

Ask the Board of Supervisors to take back control of our airport; and if you see fit, request that the Board of Supervisors file a lawsuit now, not later.

To submit a letter to the editor, email

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