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Opinion

Commentary: Delta’s use of quiet, efficient aircraft benefits Newport Beach community

John Wayne Airport
A plane takes off at John Wayne Airport in 2015. New A220-100 aircraft used by Delta Airlines are quieter and will benefit Newport Beach, say three of the city’s council members.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

For more than three decades, the city of Newport Beach has doggedly pursued solutions for alleviating the noise and air quality impacts John Wayne Airport’s operations have on a large section of our city.

Joined by engaged citizens, we’ve worked hard to maintain the 1985 John Wayne Airport Settlement Agreement, challenged changes to the departure routes, advocated for community protections at the county and federal levels, launched an extensive study with the air carriers to potentially reduce the noise generated during departures and more.

Newport Beach has accomplished much over the years, but we acknowledge that the greatest community benefits have, and will come from, something beyond our control — the widespread adoption of newer and improved aircraft technology by the major carriers.

That’s why we applaud Delta Air Lines, one of the six, major air carriers operating at JWA, for its goal of replacing 20 percent of its older, less-efficient aircraft, fleet-wide, by next year. That decision brought local benefits this fall when Delta replaced the B717-200 aircraft it was operating at JWA with new, A220-100 aircraft.

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During its first flights at JWA, the A220, with its higher climb rate and quieter engine technology, measured plus-5 to plus-8 decibels lower than acceptable noise limits at some JWA noise monitoring stations. Thus, we were especially pleased that Delta elected to use A220-100 aircraft for its five daily non-stops between JWA and Salt Lake City.

We recognize the operational and passenger benefits resulting from Delta’s sizable investment in newer aircraft technology, but believe the environmental and community-friendly advantages deserve equal attention.

Any reduction in noise and emissions, no matter how incremental, makes a difference, and we greatly appreciate Delta’s leadership in fleet modernization at JWA.

Diane B. Dixon, Kevin Muldoon and Jeff Herdman serve on the Newport Beach City Council.

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