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South County should share air traffic needs

READERS RESPOND --

March 02, 2000

AT ISSUE: Measure F, on Tuesday's ballot, which is aimed at derailing the

county's El Toro airport plans.

Should the people of South County not share in the need for expanded air

transportation -- a need brought on by the growth of South County? The

cities of Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Tustin, Orange, Santa Ana,

Huntington Beach, Fountain Valley, Orange and yes, Irvine, will be

subjected to the new environmental impact report, Plan F or G, dated

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December 1999.

Plan F, the least invasive, will subject those within a five-mile radius

of John Wayne to triple the noise and pollution. There are 180 or more

schools, child-care or children's facilities within a five-mile radius of

John Wayne. Are our children less precious than the children of South

County? The closest home to El Toro is six miles, and El Toro has a

14,000-acre buffer zone, while John Wayne has none. South County, we

under the flight path need your cooperation, not your constant barrage of

opposition.

JOHN DI BELLO

Newport Beach

I believe that the perfect solution to end the El Toro debate is that if

Measure F is passed and El Toro airport is not built, the county shall

restrict the use of John Wayne Airport to those that live in the areas

north and west of the city of Irvine.

This proposal would include the requirement to show proof of residence in

order to purchase a ticket for departing flights from John Wayne. The

400,000-plus residents of South County would have to make other

arrangements such as LAX, Ontario or San Diego for their travel plans.

This plan would help alleviate the pressure to expand John Wayne, as

those who chose not to have an airport in their own backyard will not be

able to travel from a convenient location. It is very sad to me that

anyone would want to squander such a golden opportunity to have a

facility as convenient and safe as El Toro would be.

JEFFREY W. WILCOX

Newport Beach

As a resident of Newport Beach who lives under the flight path of John

Wayne Airport, I can surely empathize with South County residents.

However, Orange County is rapidly expanding and will continue to do so.

As the county grows, more people will need to travel for business and

want to travel for pleasure, and more cargo will have to find its way

into the county. Any notion that this county will not have to expand its

airport capacity in the next 20 years is shortsighted. The El Toro

Airport plan goes a long way toward solving some of these problems at far

less of a social cost than any expansion of John Wayne Airport.

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