Topic Author
Posts: 541
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 1999 10:28 am

El Toro Airport

Fri Feb 11, 2000 11:04 am

This is mainly for the people in Southern California. Do you think they should build El Toro Airport? Why or why not?
Matt D
Posts: 8907
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 1999 6:00 am

RE: El Toro Airport

Fri Feb 11, 2000 11:13 am

I live in SoCal, and started a thread on this topic awhile back. Yes, I think it should be built. For 2 reasons.
First, John Wayne-while a joke. It has all of 14 gates. Only one runway suitable for the jets. And no room to expand..unless they tear down some of those FBO's along MacArthur Blvd. Then, the operational restrictions there are outrageous! I know that sooner or later a plane is going to stall on takeoff, and land right into Balboa Island. Anyone who's seen takeoffs there knows what I'm talking about. Don't even get me started on the noise abatement. BTW...anytime I go there to spot/photo during the week, I always have a chuckle seeing about 8 planes uselessly lined up around the entire perimeter of the airport...waiting for 0700 to come so they can leave.
Second, LA, Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties are booming. Ontario has been built to sufficiently handle all growth in the Inland Empire and Eastern LA County, and even north Orange County for years to come. LAX is bursting at the seams, and is all but boxed in. Since many residents of OC use LAX (and contribute to the growth at LAX), why not shoulder some of that by opening El Toro? Might as well, the airport is already there! Of course, the can tear up El Toro, and subdivide it into more housing projects and industrial parks......
as if there weren't enough of those already.

Yes And No

Fri Feb 11, 2000 11:27 am

The USAF, the US Army, the US Navy are all short staffed, ill equipped and their collective state of readiness has slipped to a horrid state. It's time to stop closing bases and start showing the people in our armed forces that we really care about them. To defend their honor and ours by allowing them to properly defend us they need proper bases and the proper equipment. I am not saying that we should start a new hardware buildup, I think we are heading in the right direction. However the closing of many important bases continues to cause wonder, especially because with each readiness report it gets worse. Some bases were vital to our defenses, now we are closing them. At least part of EL Toro should continue to be maintained as a field capable of military operation. But if the base is closed the US DOD will probably still own the runway, as they have done with several other bases. (allowing them to use the runway in crises)

But if it is closed everything I've read shows it would be a great site to build a civilian airport. Fedex loves the idea, they plan to put a hub there. (at least they used to want to) So it could in the long run be much better for the economy for the airport to open. The jobs Fed Ex could bring as well as other companies, engine overhaul shops (great hanger facilites for these companies) and other things. It will probably look good, kind of like Kelly AFB when it closes. Pratt and Whitney will have an operation as will Lockheed and some other companies. El Toro would be a good site too, for passengers, businesses, and cargo operators.

Make SNA Bigger

Fri Feb 11, 2000 12:16 pm

I like the plans to make SNA larger with 2 large runway expanding across the 405 and 73. There would be an international terminal on the west side with a larger 20-25 gate terminal on the east. There will not be many more flught just a couple to europe Asia and other places where poeple can go in a 767!
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2000 8:05 am

RE: El Toro Airport

Sat Feb 12, 2000 2:40 am

I also live in SoCal and would love to see a new, expanded airport to supplement SNA. I am also a realist. The fight against El Toro is going to drag on for years & years to come. Let's face it --- very rich, very connected Laugna Beach/South County residents will make sure it gets stalled in the courts. Don't underestimate the amount of $ that exists in Laguna Beach, Mission Viejo, etc.... There needs to be an alternative plan.

RE: El Toro Airport

Sat Feb 12, 2000 2:47 am

Since the runways are there and some of the facilities there should be no problem opening up an airport. Look at what they did to Stewart AFB in Newburgh NY, after the Air Force deactivated it, they turned over part of the base to the 105th Airlift Wing, NYANG and the other sections were made into Stewart International Airport.
Tom in NO
Posts: 6725
Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

RE: El Toro Airport

Sat Feb 12, 2000 9:50 am

I was born and raised in SoCal myself, and feel very strongly that El Toro should be redeveloped to support air carrier service, and that SNA should be closed to all but general aviation.

The obvious reason is noise. A second would be capacity to expand in the future. Any ideas to expand either the runways or terminal at SNA is a joke, and would make a large problem that much larger.

The access is there with I-405 and I-5, and would naturally attract the population of northern San Diego County, as well.

The runway layout is sufficient, there is more than enough room, air traffic congestion would also benefit, removing the need to mix air carrier and GA.

Tom in NO (at MSY formerly of SoCal)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 1999 5:31 am

RE: El Toro Airport

Sat Feb 12, 2000 4:25 pm

The county has acknowledged that all four runways at El Toro will have to be dug up and new ones put in their place. I'm not sure exactly why.. Maybe they're just not made to high-traffic commercial airport standards.

Anyone notice the mountains right at the end of the runways? Seems to me the likelihood of stalling and crashing into one of them is just as high as a plane crashing into Newport Harbor.

Yes there is a lot of money in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo, but there's also a lot of money in Newport Beach.. people that are vehemently opposed to SNA even being there (until they use it to fly out of town, it seems). I encountered quite a few of these people as I got up and spoke my mind about the airports at a Commission meeting some months back.. some were verbally aggressive WHILE I was speaking.

The county just spent millions of dollars on the Riley Terminal in just this past decade. I don't believe that commercial operations can be sustained at both locations, and apparently some of the airlines don't either.

Noise abatement is going to be an issue at any El Toro airport.. just as it is at John Wayne. Airport promoters are finally starting to realize that the plan sounds a lot more palatable when they suggest shutting down the airport at night.

Expansion at SNA is possible.. 19R/1L could easily be expanded to the 405, if not directly over it. The worst part would be creating the underpass, but it would add at least another 1,000 ft or so. Honestly I don't know why much more would be necessary.. with the proximity to LAX, there would be few international flights.. maybe a couple a day to YYZ or perhaps even some destinations in Mexico eventually, but if airlines have to choose between LAX and SFO because they can only afford one, how does Orange County fit into the picture? Flights to Canada and Mexico are possible even today. Air Canada stated they wanted to fly to SNA, but I'm sure they ran into problems getting one of the slots. Better airport planning fixes that.. take a couple away from HP or AA and their gazillion daily flights to LAS, PHX, and SJC. About all we'd see from El Toro in today's hub-and-spoke world is bigger equipment and maybe a few more frequencies to places like DEN, ORD, and ATL.

In the next 20-30 years, Orange County is going to grow south and east.. out past Rancho Santa Margarita (they're already grading for more 'beautiful' stucco tract homes to overrun the wilderness) and San Clemente. One road that would make sense is between South County and the Temecula area. It's only 13 miles as the crow flies between San Clemente and Temecula. Why not build a major airport out that direction, where no one lives (yet) and end all this squabbling?

The short of it is this.. a minimal expansion of John Wayne (lengthening the main runway, maybe building another terminal between T2 and the old AMR Combs building) is all that's really needed for the residents of Orange County as we know it today. A new airport out in the boonies wouldn't actually be so far away from tomorrow's growth, and it might actually live up to hopes and expectations that El Toro can never fulfill.

Ask why..

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