Airport Plan Group Applications Sought

The El Toro Airport Citizens Advisory Commission, a new group formed by the County Board of Supervisors to plan for a commercial airport at the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, is seeking applications for six open seats.

The creation of the advisory commission was mandated by the passage of Measure A, which was approved by voters in November. Measure A calls for a commercial airport at the Marine Corps base after it closes in 1999.

New commission members will include two aviation experts, two members of established community groups concerned with airport issues, and one representative each for the county business community and for labor organizations.

The application deadline is noon Thursday.

Members of the Citizens Advisory Commission will also study the proposed use of the base by commercial air cargo carriers before it closes. The commission will be advisory to the El Toro Redevelopment Authority, the new planning agency formed by the supervisors.

Supervisors withdrew in January from the El Toro Reuse Planning Authority, which had given a significant role to the cities of Irvine and Lake Forest, whose residents generally oppose a commercial airport at the military base.

Both cities have decided to sue the county over its decision to include the mandate from Measure A in the county's General Plan without conducting hearings and an environmental review of putting a commercial airport at the base.

The Citizens Advisory Commission will meet at 5 p.m. Thursday at the county Hall of Administration to announce the remaining six appointments, which will be made by the Board of Supervisors and a selection committee of the Orange County Division of the League of California Cities.

The commission now has five members. It was to have a total of 13, but the cities of Irvine and Lake Forest are refusing to join.

Applications for membership should be sent to John Wayne Airport Director Jan Mittermeier, 3151 Airway Ave., Suite K-101, Costa Mesa, CA 92701. Applications may also be faxed to (714) 252-5178.

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