John Wayne Airport initiative aims to reduce pollution and noise from private jets

A new effort at John Wayne Airport aims to make the skies a little kinder to the environment and nearby Orange County residents by encouraging private jet operators to take quieter routes and adopt practices durable.

Airport officials joined county leaders at a press conference Wednesday to announce the launch of “Fly Friendly,” a data-driven initiative that will monitor and score attendees on their flight behaviors and their engagement in community efforts related to aviation sustainability and impacts.

“Fly Friendly is an education and awareness program designed to minimize noise and environmental impacts from general aviation or private use jet aircraft,” said airport manager Charlene Reynolds. “[JWA] will celebrate operators demonstrating the highest level of commitment to this program through an awards initiative.

On Wednesday, County Supervisor Katrina Foley shows a flight path map showing a departure route that, when flown, carries jet engine noise away from residential areas and over the Pacific Ocean.

(Don Leach / staff photographer)

Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, whose District 5 shares part of JWA territory with District 2, represented by Katrina Foley, explained that several aviation industry officials and associations have collaborated within a working group to develop the campaign. She encouraged private jet operators to volunteer for the program.

“It’s important for pilots to remember that when they land at John Wayne Airport, they’re not just landing at the airport, they’re entering our beautiful community,” Bartlett said. “Many people live close to the airport and are very sensitive to noise from incoming and outgoing aircraft.”

Foley explained that when John Wayne officials sat down with local elected officials and community members in 1985 to draft a settlement agreement imposing annual passenger caps, curfews and other restrictions on operations commercial flight, the process did not include general aviation travel, such as private business or single-engine flights.

County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett speaks during a news conference at the John Wayne Airport Authority offices.

County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett speaks Wednesday at a press conference at the John Wayne Airport Authority offices.

(Don Leach / personal photographer)

The traffic and noise generated by these flights has since increased, potentially creating further impacts on residential communities below the airport’s flight path.

Foley showed a flight path map indicating a specific departure route that, when flown, directs jet engine noise away from residential areas and over the Pacific, where fewer effects are felt. Although its use is recommended, many private jet pilots are not familiar with it.

“The Fly Friendly program fills the void where the settlement agreement does not apply to general aviation,” she said at the county news conference. “He is really focused on training our pilots.”

The program scores operators who fit into multiple categories. While data systems will determine the quietest starts and rate nighttime noise reduction, other categories — such as “environmental stewardship and sustainability” and “most engaging” — will track rider involvement in community efforts. , such as local aviation impact meetings and environmental advocacy campaigns.

Elected officials plant a coast live oak during a ceremony at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach.

Supervisor Katrina Foley, from right, Airport Commissioner Sue Dvorak, Lisa Swanson, along with the Surfrider Foundation and Newport Beach Councilwoman Joy Brenner, plant a coast live oak during a ceremony at the center of interpretation Peter and Mary Muth of Newport Beach.

(Kevin Chang / personal photographer)

Jet operators who modify aircraft to reduce noise, purchase quieter craft, or fly in accordance with procedures outlining quietest general aviation departures and other noise reduction guidelines will receive “points “.

Likewise, general aviation pilots who demonstrate the greatest reduction in night departures and arrivals, or who contribute up to $4,500 per year to ecological restoration campaigns undertaken by the Newport Bay or Irvine Reserves Ranch to offset aircraft impacts will receive top marks and will be publicly recognized by John Wayne Airport’s Board of Supervisors and officials as outstanding.

Following Wednesday’s press conference, Foley and officials planted a Native Coast Live Oak at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive Center in Newport Beach to commemorate the program.

“By launching Fly Friendly, we are taking the first step in reducing noise and pollution caused by general aviation flights,” she said.

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