The Costa Mesa City Council will consider the adoption of an official city policy toward the expansion of John Wayne Airport tonight.
The proposal would put Costa Mesa on the record as opposing any expansion of the facility beyond stipulations outlined in a 1985 settlement agreement.
It would further direct staff to draft a proposal for the formation of a city Aviation Committee, which would hold a monthly meeting and advise the council on airport issues.
“It is imperative JWAOC be recognized as permanently constrained to its existing legal, environmental and physical limitations and that the city takes those steps it deems necessary to ensure those restrictions remain in place in perpetuity,” the policy reads. The proposal would also commission a joint study by Costa Mesa and Newport Beach aimed at reducing the number of passengers at the airport under the county’s program to divert passengers to other regional airports.
The meeting will be at 6 p.m. in the council’s chambers at 77 Fair Drive.
— Chris Caesar
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Costa Mesa council adopts verbatim language of the Newport Beach policy. Members hope surrounding cities join in.
By Chris Caesar
The Costa Mesa City Council resolved to adopt an explicit policy opposing the potential expansion of John Wayne Airport on Tuesday night, though further deliberations on the city’s enforcement of the measure will be finalized during a study session next week.
Councilwoman Katrina Foley, who brought forth the proposal, said she thought the council should take a more decisive stance on the issue after reviewing an identical policy endorsed by the Newport Beach City Council.
Aside from a few alterations, the council adopted the verbatim language of the Newport Beach policy, stating “The city of Costa Mesa recognizes that JWAOC cannot meet the near-term or long-term need for air transportation for Orange County and that alternatives to the expanded use of JWAOC must be developed…it is imperative JWAOC be recognized as permanently constrained to its existing legal, environmental and physical limitations.”
The board voted 5-0 in favor of using that language, though decided to postpone a discussion on other suggestions, including the establishment of an Aviation Committee favored by local anti-expansion groups.
“How many groups are we going to form?” Mayor Pro Tem Allan Mansoor asked, saying he favored emphasizing grassroots organizations as opposed to an official city committee. “Airfair? JWA? 4 or 5 more committees? Really, what we should be doing is uniting all of these groups as one.”
Foley disagreed, saying the formation of an aviation committee had been long-supported by local organizations opposed to the expansion of John Wayne Airport.
Both Foley and Mansoor emphasized the importance of speaking and uniting with other cities on the issue, however, saying a joint committee with Newport Beach and other corridor cities would be a strong show of unity against airport expansion.
“I think a joint committee, whether with all of the corridor cities or just Newport Beach, is a fantastic idea,” Foley said.
Whether that proposal will move forward will be decided at a 4:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday at City Hall, 77 Fair Drive.
CHRIS CAESAR may be reached at (714) 966-4626 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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