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Mailbag: Privatizing TeWinkle fields will hurt Mesa del Mar

May 22, 2012

Today JWA is home to 600 general aviation aircraft. According to OCAir.com, the number of passengers flown in and out of JWA in 2011 totaled 8,609,000. The number of takeoffs and landings in 2011 equaled nearly 253,000.

This scenario has serious inherent problems. It does not take a scientist to conclude that these two close entities — the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve and JWA — do not make for compatible neighbors. Both birds and airplanes use wings to fly, but while birds flap their wings for flight, airplanes require jet fuel, which contains chemicals harmful to human, plant and animal health.

I was bothered by the airplane-induced noise pollution, which has its own negative health effects. However, I believe the even greater issue of JWA is the threat to the environment: our wildlife, our own health and quality of life, local housing values and more.

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Upper Newport Bay has simpler challenges in that it is nestled into our now very populated Newport Beach. In developing our coastal bay area, we have already placed challenges on the wildlife.

This makes it imperative that we do our best to maintain the nature that we have here. If we don't, this gem will be destroyed, day by day, flight by flight, and once this valuable resource is gone, it is gone.

As such, we must continue to fight expansion of John Wayne Airport, while keeping the current curfews in place. Our health and quality of life depends on it, and lives of the birds and animals that inhabit Upper Newport Bay depend on us.

Julie Carr

Newport Beach

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