History of the Orange County Airport


-Airfield known as "Eddie Martin's Airport" becomes Orange County Airport, with air service provided by Martin Aviation.

- World War II----Federal government takes over airport for Army Air Corps base. 1952

-Bonanza Airlines (which became Hughes Airwest and later Republic Airlines) inaugurates airport's first regularly scheduled passenger service with DC-3s to San Diego and Phoenix. 1967

- A new 22,500-square-foot terminal completed. Air California, a new Orange County based airline, flies to Northern California. 1968

- Hughes Air West starts airport's first jet service. Homeowners file first noise lawsuits. County wins on appeal. 1970

- Board of Supervisors limits commercial jets to an average of 41 daily departures to combat noise. 1977

- In a Superior Court trial, jury finds that airport neighbors suffered no actual property damage. 1979

- Facility renamed John Wayne Airport in memory of the actor who lived in Newport Beach 1980

- Federal Aviation Administration find that county discriminated against new carriers by refusing to allow new entrants at airport.

-Couinty lets in Western Arilines and Frontier Airlines 1981

- U.S. District Judge Terry M. Hatter of Los Angeles rules that county flight allocations unlawfully protect AirCal. Judge rules that county cannot evict Western Airlines for failing to use quieter jets.

-Newport Beach files lawsuit attacking adequacy of the county's environmental impact study of planed flight increases.


- Board of Supervisors votes to make some of existing carriers' daily departures available to new entrants on a quarterly basis

- Superior Court Judge Bruce Sumner declares county environmental study failed to adequatley analyze alteratives to airport expansion plan, thus freezing daily departures at 41.

- Southern California Assn. of Governments, a regional planning agency, says a new 10-million-passenger-per-year facility is needed and possible locations include El Toro Marine Corps Air Station despite Pentagon opposition

-Blue ribbon committee reports on possible sites, including Santiago Canyon and Chino Hills, buyt Board of Supervisors declares there is not site for a major new airport in the county. 1983

- Board of Supervisors bans new airlines, citing safety hazards and airport overcrowding. But federal Judge Hatter allows Amerrican Airlines to join PSA, AirCal, Republic, Frontier, and Western Airlines at John Wayne. 1984

- Air West, Continental Airlines, Jet America, Air Alaska, TWA and United seek entry

- Board of Supervisors orders up a new airport master plan and environmental study for a major new terminal facility and 73 daily departures.

- Board rejects agreement with Newport Beach to limit flights to 55 per day and end city's lawsuits.

- New county environmental study cites major traffic and pollution problems but also criticizes alternatives to expansion.

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