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Aviation Update

August 11, 2017


Aviation Update


Being Chair of the NB Aviation Committee, and just beginning to get my feet wet in terms of learning and content, I thought in this Blog/Newsletter I would spend some time updating you on the new Meltroplex Project being implemented by the  Federal Aviation Committee (FAA)  So many of my constituents in District 5 are impacted by flight takeoff paths originating from John Wayne Airport; I am frequently asked questions that the information below may help to answer.


After completing an environmental assessment, the FAA made three (3) changes to departures at JWA:  PIGGN, for flights east of Las Vegas; FINZZ and HHERO for flights west of Las Vegas.  PIGGN was introduced on March 2, with the FAA carefully monitoring flight paths since.  The FAA has identified a slight shift of traffic to the east and a correction was in order which was made on May 25th.  FINZZ and HHERO were implemented on April 27th.


(Note:  I made no attempt to spell out the above referenced acronyms because I don’t know what they stand for!) 


Be aware that:

  • This is part of the FAA’s nationwide effort, and the FAA has complete control over the airspace;

  • Both the County and the City are in litigation with the FAA over the Metroplex environmental assessment;

  • The City has found the FAA to be responsive to the City’s concerns and open to dialoguing  with the City;

  • The City believes the departure tracks can be improved to better split the “Narrows” and still pass directly over noise monitor #7;

  • The City works on the departure issue regularly - often daily - and it’s a top priority for both he City and the County;

  • There is no guarantee that the FAA will change the alignments as they ultimately control the airspace;

  • Know that the City is happy to go over your specific concerns and talk with you at any time about what you are hearing and seeing.  



  • Passenger traffic has decreased in June 2017 as compared with June 2016 (600 less passengers);

  • In June the Average Daily Departures were 128.1 vs. 132.3 for June of 2016.



Several questions have been asked related to altitude, specifically, “Are actually flying lower during takeoff?”  Altitude analysis for the period of 2007-2016 show very little disparity.  Newer aircraft like the A#@)neo show significant improvement in both altitude and noise.  



If an aircraft exceeds noise limits at one or more locations, a “Notice of Violation” will be issued to the registered owner of the aircraft.  Notices of Violations remain in effect for three years.  If three violations occur within a three-year period, the aircraft owner, the aircraft operator, and the aircraft are subject to denial of use of the Airport for a period of three years.  


And finally, having recently been selected by the City Selection Committee to be a Commissioner on the Airport Land Use Commission, and being chair of the NB Aviation Committee, I intend to immerse myself, and be well-informed on JWA Airport issues for the benefit of my constituents.  


As always, I remain “at your service”, and encourage you to contact me with any questions, concerns, and feedback. 


Jeff Herdman

Newport Beach City Council

District 5



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