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Aviation Update

October 16, 2017


“If you are not helping others you are not cementing your faith.”

                                                         ~Rev. Bill Doulos



Dear Constituents,



As a followup to my last Blog/Newsletter, I asked the City to take a look at our website having to do with aviation issues, specifically the reporting of noise from airplanes taking off from JWA. The City of Costa Mesa recently launched a website where you can report and log excessive noise from fights taking off.  The same feature is now available in Newport Beach at the following website: (For reporting noise). 

Click on the “Reporting Noise”  tab right at the top.  


Aviation Update


It is safe to say that things have really “taken off” in this City when it comes to the John Wayne Airport and the implementation of NextGen flight path procedures. Below is a brief chronology since 2009 of what has taken place with the FAA when it comes to flight takeoff patterns at JWA, and where we are today.  For purposes of understanding the timeline of events below, the West Side refers to the Dover Shores area; the East Side refers to the East Bluff area. Terms like STREL, DUKE and NextGen are acronyms for the name of flight paths. Fanning refers to planes spreading out in terms of their takeoff path.  


2009    The era of Fanning in terms of takeoffs;  Then DUKE was set up which more narrowed the flight takeoffs (the FAA got it wrong).  The City went to work with the County.  It took 18 months working with the FAA to get a revised DUKE implemented, and it still wasn’t   good.

2011    FAA implements the STREL take off pattern and things were pretty good for 2 years. 

2014    The FAA moved STREL, and it was to far to the west.  The City went to work again with the FAA, but to no avail.

2015    NextGen nationwide is proposed by the FAA- bad news!

2016    The City filed litigation against the FAA’s EIR related to NextGen claiming that the EIR was inadequate in terms of the effects of noise and pollution.

March, 2017    NextGen is implemented despite the lawsuit; resulted in planes flying too close to East Bluff.

April, 2017    FAA moved all flights to the same departure path.

May, 2017    FAA did a correction to the West (half of the planes taking off) and that is where we are right now with departures either too close to Eastbluff or Dover Shores. 

October, 2017    A change is coming…40% of the takeoffs, those that are too close to Eastbluff,   will be moved toward the West. 

December, 2017    Another change is coming…10% more flights will shift to the West.


What is the City doing about all of this?


The City filed a lawsuit against the FAA which got us (the City) a place at the table so that negotiations could take place on behalf of the people of Newport Beach. NextGen represents a large swath of departures, and there is no way that the FAA could have studied the environmental impact of this area. The case is being heard in Washington D.C., however the current status of the case is meditation with the FAA. This will continue until progress stops. The City wants “fanning” reinstated.


The Council passed a Resolution stating its intent to aggressively work toward a solution with the FAA.


The Council will approve the hiring lobbyists to work with the two Senators from California as well as the airlines.


The City will be forming a community action committee to work with the City and County on this issue.


The City will be brining in an outside firm to verify decibel readings over the existing sound monitors as well as in other areas where their are not sensors.


What can you do? First, encourage Congressman Dana Rorhabacher to put his name on Congressman Stephen Lunch’s recently introduced legislation - H.R. 3938….Air Traffic Noise and Pollution Expert Consensus Act of 2017. Introduced last week, and as of this past Friday, our Congressman had not yet added his name to the list who are supporting this piece of legislation. If you Google Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (Dana Rohrbacher’s e-mail), you will be taken to a form where you can send him a message. He does not have a regular e-mail address.


AirFair, Airport Working Group and HOA’s need to activate independently; petitions, letters to our Congressmen, and conduct awareness campaigns that American and United Airlines are not being considerate of residents when it comes to their takeoff practices.


One last note: People are continually asking about planes powering back after takeoff - a practice that used to be in place.  The Airport Nose and Capacity Act of 2005 is the reason why the City can’t insist on powering back, or introducing this in litigation.  It is a thing of the past.


I hope that you have found this informative, and are convinced that the City Council has made this entire issue, and its solution, as a very high priority.


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


***Aviation Update Update! 10/17/2017 12:30 pm ***


As of this morning, Oct. 17th, the staff”s initial assessment as to the FAA’s recent re-coding of the HHERO flight departure procedure finds that the correction has been made, and it is the correct one!


This was to happen last Thursday, October, 12th, and it did. All HHERO departures (about 40% of the daily departing flights) have been corrected. Flights are now flying away from Eastbluff, and higher. PIGGN and HHERO are now on top of each other, and this is correct. HHERO departures moved slightly west, and now are appropriately placed in a new NEXTGEN environment.


On December 7th, FINNS flights to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City (less than 10% of the daily flights), and are somewhat East, will make a correction. The end result will be 98% of all flights will be on the correct takeoff course.


Jeff Herdman

Newport Beach City Council - District 5


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