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Mailbag: JWA story not well-balanced enough

August 26, 2010

A puff piece published by the Daily Pilot about John Wayne Airport ("New feather in John Wayne's cap," Aug. 22) needed a more objective view. What it did not need was an "atta boy" attitude. John Wayne Airport (JWA) has a well-paid public relations staff to take care of that. If the article was an editorial, then label it as such.

First, the Pilot should check its facts before running a story about how wonderful the new, expanded (sorry, remodeled) airport will be. Surely by now our new editors of the Daily Pilot are well informed about the settlement agreement that limits the airport to 10.8 million annual passengers from 2011 to 2015, not "more than 10.8 million." In addition, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forecast in 2009 that JWA would not reach 10.9 million annual passengers until 2022.

When reporting on an issue of a controversial nature, would it not be good reporting, even ethical, to include just a paragraph or two on the controversy about the airport and even include a quote or two from the large numbers of residents concerned about the effect the expansion has on Newport Beach, Costa Mesa and surrounding neighborhoods?

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Some of us are well aware of the power of the FAA, Orange County and the airport. But a news story in the free press should not sound like a shill for a money-making enterprise. JWA does not need any public relations help from our local paper.

Nancy Alston

Newport Beach

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More JWA passengers not wanted

The article about John Wayne Airport's modernization contains a photograph of Terminal C under construction, but the article deserves comment ("New feather in John Wayne's cap," Aug. 22).

Terminal C was commissioned because JWA was bursting at the seams, not because of any desire for growth. It is hardly a feather in anybody's cap. The World War II Quonset hut-shaped building resembles the first two terminals, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

In 2010 the airport will serve less than last year's 8.7 million annual passengers, so it is shrinking not growing. Next year's capacity limit of 10.8 million annual passengers is not expected to be reached until 2022, according to the FAA's latest Terminal Area Forecast for John Wayne Airport.

John Wayne Airport may have been bursting at the seams, but that does not mean we want or need more passengers than currently authorized.

Donald Nyre

Newport Beach

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